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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 June 2007, 15:23 GMT 16:23 UK
Iraq Shias 'attack' Sunni mosques
US soldier outside a mosque in Baghdad Bayaa district (file photo)
Baghdad's Bayaa district is home to Sunnis and Shias
A prominent Iraqi Sunni party says Shia militiamen have attacked two Sunni mosques in Baghdad.

The Iraqi Islamic Party says the militiamen, backed by commando troops, raised their banners over the Rahman and Fataah Basha mosques.

The party says many Sunnis have been forced to flee the area. The mosques are in the Bayaa district, an area with a mix of Sunni and Shia residents.

The Shia-dominated government has not commented on the latest accusations.

It has said in the past that it is working to reduce sectarian tensions.

Sunni leaders have repeatedly complained that their community's mosques in Baghdad are under threat but the government is doing nothing about it.

In a statement on its website, the Iraqi Islamic Party said the latest attacks came shortly after Kurdish troops stationed in Bayaa were replaced by interior ministry commandos.

The Sunnis accuse Shia militias and their allies in the security forces of operating squads that kidnap, torture and kill Sunni civilians.

Suicide bombings blamed on Sunni militants frequently target Shias.

Hundreds of people die every month in attacks which have brought Iraq to the brink of civil war.

Millions of people have also been displaced by the spiralling sectarian strife.




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