A suicide bomber drove his truck into a police station north of Baghdad on Monday, crumbling the squat concrete building and damaging a nearby school in the deadliest in a series of blasts that killed at least 24 people.
Violence ripped through the capital and two northern areas as the Britain's prime minister announced the chief US ally in Iraq planned to withdraw nearly half its troops from southern Iraq starting next spring.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the plan to cut the British contingent to 2,500 soldiers follows the success of the US troop increase this summer and efforts by Iraqis to drive suspected al-Qaida militants from havens in Anbar province, west of Baghdad.
Iran, meanwhile, reopened five border crossing points with northern Iraq, closed last month by Tehran to protest the US detention of an Iranian official. The Bush administration and the US military accuse Iran of fueling Iraqi violence by arming and financing Shiite militia fighters.