Gunmen blew up two Sunni mosques Wednesday south of Baghdad, causing heavy damage but no casualties, police said, in an apparent retaliatory attack a day after a suicide truck bombing devastated a revered Shi'ite mosque in the heart of the capital, killing at least 87 people.
Thousands of US and Iraqi troops, meanwhile, pressed forward on the second day of an operation aimed at clearing out a Sunni insurgent stronghold northeast of Baghdad.
The US military said at least 30 al-Qaida fighters were killed and several bombs and weapons caches destroyed as the soldiers fought their way through the streets of Baqouba.
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