World heritage status for Iraq's bombed shrine city: government

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The central Iraqi Sunni city of Samarra which houses a revered Shiite mosque that was bombed by Al-Qaeda has been selected as a world heritage site, the government said on Tuesday.

"The Universal Heritage Committee of UNESCO has agreed to add the city of Samarra to its list of world heritage sites," a statement said.

Samarra, north of Baghdad in Sunni Salaheddin province, gained prominence after the Shiite Al-Askari shrine there was bombed on February 22, 2006, by Al-Qaeda fighters.

That attack sparked nationwide brutal sectarian violence which killed tens of thousands of people, mostly in Baghdad.

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