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Gunmen Kill 37 In Baghdad


Iraqi police say masked gunmen have killed at least 37 people in a rampage of violence against Sunni Muslims in western Baghdad.

Authorities say the gunmen stopped cars at a fake checkpoint in the predominantly Sunni Jihad district Sunday, ordered passengers out and killed them. An Interior ministry official said Shi'ite gunmen had been roaming the area, checking people's identity cards for Sunni names.

The violence happened in an area close to a Shi'ite mosque, where a car bomb killed at least two people late Saturday.

Elsewhere, the U.S. military says Iraqi forces conducted an early morning raid in the Kadahimiyah area of northwest Baghdad. The military says nine insurgents were killed, two were wounded and seven more captured during the operation.

Iraqi troops raided a Shi'ite mosque in southeastern Baghdad's Zafraniya district late Saturday to locate a suspected terrorist cell leader believed to be hiding in the building.

The statement did not identify the suspected militant, but said 20 people had been detained. In another development, a group claiming to be holding a kidnapped Sunni

Arab lawmaker have demanded the release of 25 Shi'ites detained by U.S. forces in return for her freedom. Tayseer al-Mashhadani and seven of her bodyguards were seized July first by gunmen in a Shi'ite area of east Baghdad.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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