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Insurgents Damage Ancient Minaret in Iraq

Iraqi police in the city of Samarra say an explosion has damaged an ancient Islamic monument.

Police say insurgents caused an explosion Friday in the top section of the six-story Malwiya mosque tower, leaving a jagged hole and debris on the upper part of the structure.

The tower is very important in Islamic architecture. It is one of only three spiral minarets in the world and was built of brick and clay during the Abbassid dynasty in the 9th century.

In other news, the police chief, Colonel Hatem Rashid Mohammad in Balad Ruz, northeast of Baghdad, was ambushed and killed along with another police officer.

And, Sunni Muslim clerics issued a religious edict (fatwa) encouraging Iraqis to join the country's police and army. Stronger Iraqi forces could help quell the Sunni-led insurgency.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.