Suicide bomber kills 8 in Baghdad

Violence spikes across Iraq as US draws down forces.

Baghdad bombed car 311 (photo credit: Associated Press [File])
Baghdad bombed car 311
(photo credit: Associated Press [File])
A suicide car bomber killed eight near Baghdad Sunday, most of them civilians in line at post office collecting a monthly stipend for some of the country's poorest, when the bomber's car struck a police patrol west of the city, police officials said.
The bombing in Ramadi, 70 miles (115 kilometers) west of the Iraqi capital, wounded 23, also mostly civilians in the line. It followed another attack in the southern city of Basra, where explosions tore through a market and killed 43 people, police and health officials said. Those blasts Saturday evening wounded about 185.
RELATED:Baghdad revisitedAt least 49 killed in Baghdad bombingsViolence across Iraq has spiked in the past month as the US moved ahead with a major drawdown of its troops to be completed by the end of August, when only 50,000 will remain in the country. The upswing in violence and the US pullout have raised concerns about whether Iraqi security forces are up to the job of keeping militants from destabilizing the country further at a time of political uncertainty over who will form the next government.
Police said the blast in Ramadi took place between a petrol station and an abandoned cinema in the city center. Of the eight killed, two were policemen, they said.
Initial reports from Ramadi said the blast was caused by a parked car bomb. Conflicting reports on casualties and the causes of explosions are not uncommon in Iraq in the immediate aftermath of attacks.
In Basra, Iraq's second largest city, police officials and a member of the city's security committee said the blasts were caused by a car bomb followed by another bomb placed next to a power generator. The second blast ignited a fuel tank, according to the officials, and Ali al-Maliki, the security official.
In other violence Sunday, a car bomb exploded near a school and a cluster of stores in the former insurgent stronghold of Fallujah west of Baghdad, killing two people and injuring four.
Violence has dramatically dropped in Iraq since 2008, but insurgent attacks remain a daily occurrence, especially in the capital Baghdad, preventing the city from regaining a semblance of normalcy seven years after the insurgency broke out.