More than 130 Iraqis, most of them Sunni Muslims, have been killed in two days of sectarian violence following the bombing Wednesday of a Shi'ite Muslim shrine.
A curfew in Baghdad and three provinces has reportedly been extended until 4 p.m. local time Friday. The move appeared aimed at preventing trouble in connection with Friday prayer services.
Dozens of Sunni mosques have been attacked, and some Sunni clerics kidnapped and killed since the bombing Wednesday of the Shi'ite Askariya shrine in Samarra.
Police outside Baghdad found the remains of 47 people who had been shot to death, while dozens of other bodies were found in Baghdad and elsewhere.
Gunmen killed three journalists from the Dubai-based Al Arabiya television network who had reported from the scene of the shrine attack.
In the southern city of Basra, gunmen dressed in police uniforms raided a prison and killed 11 Sunni detainees.
A bomb Thursday in Baquba killed 16 people. The U.S. military announced that bomb blasts killed seven soldiers north of Baghdad.
A major Sunni political alliance, the Iraqi Accordance Front, boycotted a multi-party meeting with President Jalal Talabani to discuss the unrest.
The Askariya shrine draws pilgrims from around the world. It 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 iman," he is the son and grandson of the two imams buried at Askariya.
Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.