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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 November 2006, 21:30 GMT
Twelve dead in Iraqi bus ambush
Fireman douses car damaged in Baghdad blasts
The Shorja market is a regular scene of deadly attacks
Gunmen have ambushed several minibuses south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, killing at least 12 people and abducting dozens more, police say.

The attack apparently took place when the vehicles were stopped at a false checkpoint near the town of Yusufiya, a stronghold of Sunni Arab insurgents.

Yusufiya is in the so-called Triangle of Death, which has seen a big increase in attacks in recent years.

Earlier eight died when two bombs exploded in a central Baghdad market.

The busy Shorja wholesale market has been the scene of many deadly attacks.

The blasts, both believed to be caused by car bombs, happened almost simultaneously, officials said.

In a separate development, US authorities offered a reward of up to $50,000 to find a kidnapped soldier.

Iraqi-born Specialist Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie, a reservist, was abducted by gunmen during a visit to his wife's family on 23 October.

In other developments:

  • Two soldiers of the US-led coalition in the southern Polish zone - one Polish and one Slovak - were killed when their vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb near Kut, 160 km south-east of Baghdad

  • Baghdad police said they had found 25 corpses dumped in various parts of the capital in a 24-hour period from Friday to Saturday evening
  • Two separate roadside bombs each killed at least one person in Baghdad
  • A suicide car bomber attacked a police station and killed two people in the town of Zaghinya near Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad
  • The US government's representative office in the Iraqi town of Hilla came under mortar attack for the second time in recent weeks, reportedly sparking a fire in the complex.

More than 100 people have been killed in Iraq in the past four days as Baghdad and other parts of Iraq suffered renewed violence after a curfew imposed for the sentencing of Saddam Hussein was lifted.

On Wednesday, two car bombs set off in busy markets killed at least 10 people, while on Thursday in Baghdad alone 18 people died in a series of bombings.

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