BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – A car bomb killed five people Thursday and wounded another 34 after it exploded near a restaurant in central Baghdad, police said.
The noon exploded at noon near Abu Tibeekh restaurant in Sadoun Street in central Baghdad. Although Ramadan began last week, some Iraqis, including Iraqi Christians, are not fasting. Many of the injured had serious burns and some were not expected to survive, police Lt. Ali Mohsen at the Kindi Hospital said.
The blast came after two Iraqi soldiers were killed and 10 more injured when a suicide car bomb slammed into a checkpoint in northeast Baghdad, police said.
The attack came in the Shaab neighborhood, one that just been cleared by American and Iraqi troops as part of the Operation Together Forward security drive in the capital.
The bodies of 40 men, more apparent victims of sectarian death squads, have been found in Baghdad over the past 24 hours, police.
All of the victims showed signs of torture, had been shot, and had their hands and feet bound, police Lt. Thayer Mahmoud said. They were dumped in several neighborhoods in both eastern and western Baghdad, he said.
The top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, on Wednesday said murders and executions are currently the number one cause of civilian deaths in Baghdad. Much of the violence has been attributed to death squads, many of which are thought to be offshoots of mainly Shiite militias. He added that there had been a spike in violence in Baghdad with the onset of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which officially began on Monday, and that suicide attacks were at their highest level ever. “This has been a tough week,” he said.
A child was killed in the southern Baghdad neighborhood of Dora when a mortar shell landed on a house, police said. Seven policemen and three Iraqi Interior Ministry special forces were injured in three different bomb attacks in the capital.
Southwest of Samarra, a city 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad, an oil pipeline was blown up and caught fire, police said. The pipe connected refineries in Beiji and Baghdad.