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Fresh Iraq violence claims 135 lives

Al Jazeera.net | November 12, 2006

New violence in Iraq has claimed the lives of more than 135 people, the country's police force has said.

Iraq's security services said that they had found at least 100 bodies dumped in the towns of Baqouba and around Baghdad on Sunday.

Police said that 75 bodies were found dumped behind a regional electrical company in Baqouba, northeast of Baghdad, and 25 others found scattered throughout the capital.

It was not clear when the victims, believed to be mostly men, were killed.

Baqouba, a mixed Sunni-Shia town, around 35 miles north of Baghdad has been the scene of some of heaviest fighting between Iraq's rival sects.

Some observers believe that more than 100,000 people have died in the Iraqi civil war that began after the US overthrew Saddam Hussein's mainly Sunni government in 2003.

Radical measures

The increasing violence has led the mainly Shia Iraqi government to propose radical measures to quell insurgents based in Iraq's Sunni provinces.

Al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister has said American troops should be confined to bases to allow the army to crush Sunni fighters.

He said that his army could stop violence within six months if left alone to do the work.

US commanders have previously forced al-Maliki's government to disband army units accused by the Sunnis of operating as death squads.

Rising toll

Elsewhere in Iraq, a roadside bomb exploded in front of the home of a man who worked in an office associated with the senior clerical figure in Najaf, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

The blast killed two of the official's children and seriously wounding a third, according to Sistani's office.

Police and Sistani's office said the bomb had been buried in sand that construction workers delivered to the house and they did not believe the man was the intended target.

In Baghdad at least 9 people were killed and 23 were injured by roadside bombs, according to police reports.

A further 35 people were killed when a bomber blew himself up in a recruiting office for Iraqi police.

Around 1,600 bodies were taken to Baghdad's morgue in October, an official said.

The toll is the highest since July, when the total hit 1,815, and was up 10 percent from 1,450 in September.

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