BAGHDAD (AP) — A series of bombings in the Iraqi capital on Thursday struck a crowded restaurant, a police patrol and the homes of two policemen, killing 11 people and wounding 25, officials said.
Violence has fallen in Iraq since a wave of sectarian bloodshed in 2006 and 2007, but insurgents carry out frequent attacks on security forces and civilians in an attempt to undermine the Shiite-led government.
In northwest Baghdad, a parked car exploded outside a crowded restaurant in the Shiite neighborhood of Shula, killing eight people and wounding 13, police officials said.
Naseer Ali, owner of a grocery shop in Shula, said he was about 150 meters (yards) from the restaurant when the blast went off. Ali said he and other witnesses rushed to help the victims until the ambulances arrived.
"I was in my shop when I heard a powerful explosion and everybody rushed to the explosion site," he said. "Part of the restaurant was damaged and the windows of the nearby shops were shattered. We saw several wounded people screaming for help."
Ali said he is worried the level of violence in Baghdad will return to what it was several years ago, in part because of the growing sectarian divide underlying a months-long paralysis of Iraq's national unity government.
"The politicians are busy with their personal ambitions and the insurgents are making use of this," said Ali, standing on the sidewalk, his shirt stained with blood.
Earlier Thursday, explosions hit two adjacent homes of Baghdad policemen in the predominantly Sunni neighborhood of Amariyah, killing two and wounding nine people, among them three children. It was not clear if the two policemen were among the casualties.
Another bomb attack targeted a police patrol in Baghdad, killing a policeman and wounding three officers.
Medics at nearby hospitals confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.