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Daytime Curfew extended in Iraq


Iraqi authorities have extended a day-time curfew in Baghdad and nearby provinces through Saturday, in a push to further ease sectarian tensions that exploded in widespread violence this week.

Beyond the capital, the ban will again cover Diyala, Babil and Salaheddin provinces.

Friday's curfew appeared to blunt much of the violence that erupted two days earlier, after bombs in Samarra destroyed the golden dome of one of the world's most sacred Shi'ite shrines. At least 130 people have been killed in reprisal attacks.

Supporters of radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr met Friday with members of a top Sunni clerical organization, the Association of Muslim Scholars, to discuss a "charter of honor" that would prohibit killings among Iraqis.

The cleric urged worshippers at Friday prayers to exercise restraint. He also condemned any Muslim who attacks another Muslim, saying such an attacker is not a true Muslim.

Dozens of Sunni mosques have been attacked in recent days, and several Sunni clerics have been kidnapped and killed since the Askariya bombing.

The shrine, which draws pilgrims from around the world, contains the tombs of the 10th and 11th Shi'ite imams, Ali al-Hadi and his son, Hassan al-Askari.

It was built at the site where the 12th Shi'ite imam, Mohammed al-Mahdi, disappeared. Known as the "hidden imam," he is the son and grandson of the two imams buried at Askariya.

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