A suicide truck bomber hit a police station in a mainly Sunni area in Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least 18 people, police said.
The suicide bomber targeting police on Saturday in the Sunni neighborhood of Dora managed to bypass tight security to get within 25 yards of the station by hiding the explosives under a load of bricks, detonating them after being stopped by a long barricade guarded by policemen and surrounded by concrete blast walls, said Police Cpl. Hussam Ali. According to him, there was construction work being done inside the station and trucks had been coming in and out all day.
Those killed included five policemen and 13 civilians, including some detainees, while 15 officers and 11 civilians were wounded, according to the authorities.
The 10:45 a.m. explosion occurred nearly three hours after two mortar shells landed on a Shiite enclave elsewhere in Dora, killing three people and wounding seven, police said.
Gunmen also ambushed an Iraqi army checkpoint in Baghdad's western Sunni neighborhood of Jami'a, killing a soldier and wounding two others, police said, adding that a gunman also was killed in subsequent clashes.
Northwest of the capital, in the predominantly Sunni Turkomen city of Tal Afar, a suicide bomber wearing an explosives belt struck a pastry shop, killing at least 10 people and injuring three, said the city's top administrator, Najim Abdullah said.
At least 11 other people were killed or found dead on Saturday, including a civilian who died after a parked truck packed with explosives struck a Shiite mosque in Haswa, 30 miles south of Baghdad, and the bullet-riddled bodies of eight men showing signs of torture in Fallujah.
On Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Salam al-Zubaie was seriously wounded in a suicide bombing during prayers at his home in Baghdad. Nine other people were killed, including al-Zubaie's brother and an aide.
Al-Zubaie was in stable condition and moved out of the intensive care unit Saturday morning, but he remained under anaesthesia at a U.S.-run hospital in the Green Zone, Sunni lawmaker Dhafer al-Ani said. Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, a military spokesman, said he had visited al-Zubaie in the hospital and found him in good condition.
"The medical situation of Dr. al-Zubaie is stable after he had a surgical operation to remove shrapnel from his lungs," al-Moussawi told state-run Iraqiya television.
The U.S. military announced the death Friday of an American soldier killed by a roadside bomb while on a foot patrol south of Baghdad. Another U.S. soldier was killed in fighting in Anbar, the military said.