Police say the blast occurred this (Wednesday) morning near a police checkpoint in the center of the city, about 160-kilometers south of Baghdad.
Najaf is home to the mausoleum of Imam Ali, the holiest site in Shi'ite Islam, and the offices of many leading Shi'ite clerics in Iraq.
US-Mideast: Top diplomats from the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States -- the international quartet for Middle East peace -- convene in Berlin today (Wednesday) to find a way to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The session follows a visit to the region by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who held a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem on Monday. After that meeting, Rice reported no breakthroughs. Mr. Abbas says his talks with Rice and Mr. Olmert were tense but not a failure.
PHILIPPINES KILLINGS : A United Nations envoy investigating hundreds of political killings in the Philippines says the armed forces appear to be responsible for a significant number of the deaths. The U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Philip Alston, says the armed forces are in a state of "almost total denial" about killings "convincingly attributed" to them. He spoke today (Wednesday) in the Philippine capital, Manila, following a 10-day investigation. Alston said he could not confirm the exact number of killings.
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