Iraq curfews to curb attacks

The same measure was enforced last Sunday to prevent unrest following the bombing of a revered Shiite shrine that has led to sectarian violence costing hundreds of lives.

The move came as insurgent attacks across Iraq killed at least 33 people and wounded scores more in renewed violence.

In one of the bloodiest attacks on Thursday, at least five people were killed and eight wounded when a car bomb went off in the Shiite-dominated Sadr City district of Baghdad.

In another attack in Baghdad, four people were killed and 11 wounded, mostly women, when a bomb exploded in a market in the mixed southeastern Jaafaraniya district.

A police commando was killed and two wounded in the western Jihad district when a roadside bomb exploded next to their patrol.

Sunni leader targeted

The bodyguard of a Sunni political leader, Adnan al-Dulaimi, died and five others were wounded when their cars came under fire in the west of the capital. Mr Dulaimi was not present during the attack.

In Khales, north of the capital, two Iraqis were killed and one was wounded on Thursday in a roadside bomb blast while in Baquba, to the northeast, two more people died, including a policeman, and six were wounded in a series of attacks.

Further north near Tikrit, gunmen killed seven Iraqi soldiers and four policemen at a checkpoint and in Mosul, four policemen were gunned down as they drove away from a police academy in the centre of the city.

Near the southern port of Basra a Sunni cleric was killed and a man and woman were found dead 20 kilometres outside the city.

Insurgents have increased their attacks across Iraq following a week of sectarian violence that left hundreds dead following the bombing of the shrine in Samarra, north of Baghdad.

Insurgents captured

Meanwhile, US military spokesman Major-General Rick Lynch said US forces had captured 61 rebels linked to Al-Qaeda in Iraq’s frontman Abu Musab al-Zarqawi near Fallujah, in western Iraq.

The rebels were apprehended on Monday during a raid on a rebel bomb-making and training base.

The US military separately announced that another 10 rebels had been detained on Thursday after raids in Habbaniya, near Fallujah, which was formerly a rebel bastion.

The latest raids are part of Operation Saeed, conducted by US forces over the past few months in the restive Al-Anbar province.

Major-General Lynch said the operation has been successful because rebel attacks in the province fell from 145 to 104 during the week that ended February 24 compared to the previous week.

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