Iraq imposes indefinite curfew in Baghdad

By Xinhua

Baghdad : The Iraqi government imposed an indefinite curfew in the capital Wednesday, in the wake of the bombing of a holy Shia shrine in the northern city of Sammara.

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The Iraqi capital is already under night curfew from at 11 p.m. (1900 GMT) to 6 a.m. (0200 GMT).

The extended curfew was announced by the office of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

The announcement came several hours after the Shiite shrine of Ali al-Hadi, also called the Golden Mosque, was attacked damaging its minaret.

The Golden Mosque is one of the four most revered Shia shrines in Iraq.

In an earlier attack on Feb 22, 2006, its 100-year-old golden dome was badly damaged.

The mosque contains two tombs of Ali al-Hadi and Hisson Hassan al-Askari. The two are the 10th and 11th of the Shias' twelve most revered Imams. Shia pilgrims from all over the world visit the shrine.

Last year's destruction of the mosque enraged Shias, particularly the militia that have been on a revenge killing spree ever since. Sunnis have fought back with equal vengeance.

Thousands of Iraqi citizens have been killed just for their sects, which push the war-torn country to the brink of a civil war.