Several bombing attacks killed at least 25 people in Iraq on Thursday, including a top municipal council leader and a bodyguard of Iraq's Kurdish deputy prime minister, officials said.
At least 12 people died in a huge blast targeting a restaurant in Tuz Khormato, some 90 kms south of the northern city of Kirkuk, the Iraqi Defense Ministry said in a statement. According to The AP, Police Lt. Sabah Hidayat said at least 40 people were injured. The blast set ablaze eight cars in the restaurant's parking lot.
In the northern city of Kirkuk, a suicide car bomber killed four Iraqi bystanders and injured at least 11 others, said Dr. Bassam Mohammed of Kirkuk Emergency Hospital.
The blast targeted a convoy of Toyota Land Cruisers carrying civilian contractors, damaging one of the vehicles but wounding none of its occupants, the U.S. military said.
Also in the north, two parked motorcycles rigged with explosives went off and killed five Iraqis Thursday in the city of Mosul, police said.
Further south in Baqouba, some 50 kms northeast of Baghdad, another suicide bomber killed four people, including Hussein Alwan al-Tamimi, 41, deputy head of Iraq's northeastern Diyala provincial council since January, police Col. Mudhafar Mohammed said. Three of his bodyguards were also killed in the attack on his convoy; four people were wounded.
In another incident, a U.S. soldier died when a roadside bomb struck the vehicle he was traveling in Wednesday near the western Iraqi city of Ramadi, the US military announced Thursday.
Another American soldier died of "non-battle-related wounds" Wednesday in the northern city of Kirkuk, the military said.
Additionally, the American Army declared Thursday that an Iraqi civilian was killed and another wounded in a suicide bombing Wednesday near the village of Mishada, some 30 kms north of Baghdad. Another suicide bomber tried to attack a U.S. convoy nearby but failed.
A Sunni cleric, Imad al-Hayali, was "mistakenly" killed by an Iraqi soldier at a checkpoint in Latifiyah, south of Baghdad, police Lt. Adnan Abdullah said Thursday. Al-Hayali was shot Tuesday by soldiers who thought he was driving dangerously toward the checkpoint, Abdullah said.