BAGHDAD, Iraq, AP -A bomb exploded Sunday at a crowded bus station south of Baghdad, killing at least two people and injuring four, police said. Two U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi police officer were killed in other explosions.
A bomb detonated as passengers boarded a bus in Hillah, a predominantly Shiite city about 60 miles south of Baghdad, police Capt. Muthana Khalid said. The vehicle was destroyed in the blast.
Jawad Khazim, a bus driver who witnessed the attack, said a man boarded the bus carrying a bag and disembarked moments later empty-handed. The explosion occurred minutes later, Khazim said.
Sunday was the first day normal traffic was allowed in Hillah after the strife-prone region was placed under an extraordinary daylight curfew to curb a deadly wave of sectarian violence unleashed by the bombing of a revered Shiite shrine in Samarra.
A vehicle ban remained in effect in Baghdad and its suburbs, but traffic restrictions were lifted in three surrounding provinces.
Passengers fled the bus station and shops closed after the blast.
“Every day there are explosions,” said Abdelallah Hassan, who runs a pastry shop at the bus station. “The main blame should be directed not at the terrorists, but at the government which stands helpless in front of them.”
A roadside blast killed a police officer and injured two others in Madain, about 14 miles southeast of Baghdad, police Lt. Bilal Ali Majid said.
The two U.S. soldiers were killed when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in western Baghdad, the U.S. military said.