A car bomb packed with explosives detonated Sunday in a central Baghdad square, killing 10 people and wounding 25, the deadliest attack on a day in which at least 18 others died in violence.
Still, a US military spokesman on Sunday that the month-old American offensives in and around the capital were starting to have an effect, reducing violence and civilian deaths, though he did not cite figures.
The Bush administration is under increased pressure from critics in Congress who say the US strategy in Iraq is not working, raising calls for a troop withdrawal. Proponents of a pull-out have pointed to the failure of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to enact political reforms considered vital to a long-term fall in violence.
The car bomb attack came in Hussein Square, a popular site of take-away restaurants in the central Baghdad district of Karradah near a bridge across the Tigris River, said a police official. The afternoon blast ripped through nearby stalls and shops, killing 10 and wounding 25, according to officials at the two hospitals where the victims were taken.