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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 April 2007, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Iraq gunmen target minority group
Iraq's map
Unidentified gunmen have killed 23 people in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, police said.

All the victims were said to be members of the Yazidi religious minority which follows a pre-Islamic religion and worships an angel figure.

Police said the victims had been dragged from a bus and shot dead. Followers of other faiths were reportedly left unharmed by the gunmen.

Earlier, two car bombs killed at least 12 people at a Baghdad police station.

Most of the victims in the capital's mainly Shia al-Bayaa area were civilians, police said. About 90 people were injured.

Police say the Yazidis were workers at a textile factory in Mosul. Their bus was ambushed as they were travelling home to the nearby town of Bashika.

Yazidis near the town of Dohuk light candles and paraffin torches to celebrate to celebrate the Yazidi New Year on 17 April 2007
The Yazidis are mostly ethnic Kurds
Police said the gunmen ordered followers of other faiths to leave the bus, before killing the Yazidi members in a field by the road.

Three Yazidi members were seriously wounded but survived the attack, police and hospital officials said.

No group has so far claimed the responsibility for the shootings, but reports say the Yazidi community has recently faced threats from Sunni Muslim extremists in the Mosul area.

The Yazidis are mostly ethnic Kurds.

They worship an angel figure that some Muslims and Christians consider the devil.

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