A car bomb went off in northern Baghdad on Saturday, killing seven passers-by and injuring dozens of others near the capital's most important Shiite shrine. The attack in Kazimiyah came even as parts of Baghdad were shut down to traffic in a bid to protect Shiite pilgrims leaving for an annual religious commemoration in the southern city of Karbala next week.
The curbs on traffic were imposed late Friday and were expected to continue through the weekend, the AP reported. However, just after noon, a bomb hidden in a parked car exploded in busy Oruba Square about 500 yards from the shrine of Imam Musa Kadhim, another revered Shiite figure.
A medic at the local hospital said seven people died in the blast and 30 others were hurt.
Elsewhere, U.S. and Iraqi forces killed two gunmen and arrested seven others Friday during raids on two villages along the road connecting Baghdad with the northern oil city of Kirkuk, police Col. Abbas Mohammed said.