Car bomb strikes central Baghdad, at least 9 dead

A car bomb struck a commercial area during rush hour in central Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least seven people and wounding 12, police said. The car was parked in a lot above a row of stores near a busy square when it exploded about 9 a.m., a police officer said, giving the casualty toll on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information. Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack, but the US military has warned it expects Sunni insurgents to try to upstage a September progress report due to be delivered by top commander Gen. David Petraeus and US Ambassador Ryan Crocker.