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Page last updated at 11:34 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 12:34 UK

Four women die in Diyala bombing

A US soldiers burns deserted buildings near Balad Ruz, Diyala province
The US have been supporting a drive by Iraq forces to quell Diyala violence

Reports from the Iraqi province of Diyala say at least four women have been killed in a roadside bombing.

A witness said the women had been on their way to visit a doctor when a bomb exploded beside their vehicle near the provincial capital, Baquba.

Iraqi and US forces have been engaged in a major offensive in the province in an attempt to drive out insurgents.

On Sunday, bomb attacks in Baghdad were reported to have killed at least seven people and wounded 25 others.

Diyala province has been the scene of sustained violence, especially suicide bombings, many of which have been carried out by women.

Iraqi forces backed by the US started an offensive there on 29 July to drive out insurgents, both Sunni groups linked to al-Qaeda and Shia militias.

Meanwhile, correspondents say violence has diminished in Baghdad and the surrounding area over the past year, but sporadic attacks continue.

One bomb went off in a crowded area in a mainly Shia neighbourhood on Sunday and another targeted an Iraqi army patrol which was escorting a van carrying money to a state-run bank.




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