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Last Updated: Friday, 6 July 2007, 11:35 GMT 12:35 UK
Blast kills Iraq wedding guests
At least 15 members of a wedding party, including three children, have died in a car bomb attack in the Iraqi capital.

At least 27 people, including the bride and groom, were also injured in the blast on Thursday evening in a southern Shia district of Baghdad.

The explosion occurred in front of a photo studio in Abu Dshir where the wedding party gathered for pictures.

An official at Yarmouk hospital, where the victims were taken, said the newlyweds escaped with minor injuries.

Several nearby shops and businesses were badly damaged in the blast.

Abu Dshir is a Shia enclave in Baghdad's lawless, mainly Sunni, neighbourhood of Dora.

Local resident Ali Hussein told the AFP news agency: "I saw two minibuses completely burned out with bodies still inside them.

"People said the bomber was being chased by security forces but his car exploded when it hit the wedding party."

In other developments:

  • The US-led coalition in Iraq is deploying hundreds of troops from the Eastern European nation of Georgia to eastern Iraq, to try to halt the flow of deadly weapons from Iran. The Georgians will deploy in Wasit province, trying to detect Iranian-designed roadside bombs. Iran denies supplying weapons to Shia militants
  • US soldier in Wasit province
    US troops are to be bolstered in Wasit by Georgian soldiers

  • An al-Qaeda militant has been executed for his role in a car bombing that killed a leading Shia figure in 2003, a justice ministry official told the Associated Press. The militant, Oras Mohammed Abdul-Aziz, was hanged in Baghdad on Tuesday, the official said.

    The execution was the first word of any trial concerning the killing of Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and 84 others in Najaf

  • Across Baghdad a total of 24 unidentified bodies were found by Iraqi police on Thursday
  • A US soldier died of wounds inflicted during fighting on Thursday in west Baghdad, the US military said. Two other US soldiers died on Thursday in southern Baghdad, it said
  • Clashes in the southern town of Samawa between police and Shia militants of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army left at least three people dead, police said

US and Iraqi forces are currently undertaking a major military operation in the Baghdad area aimed at curbing sectarian unrest.

Some 30,000 extra US troops have now been deployed to Iraq to try to reduce the violence.

Popular markets have been walled off, streets closed and the number of checkpoints have been stepped up in an attempt to thwart car bomb attacks.

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