BAGHDAD -- A suicide car bomb struck a market in the Shi'ite district of Sadr City and police said 17 people died yesterday, a day after a blast targeting university students killed 70 in what appeared to be a renewed campaign of Sunni insurgent violence against Shi'ites.
Elsewhere in Baghdad, a convoy carrying members of a US democracy group was ambushed by gunmen, and four of the workers, including an American woman, were killed, an official said.
The three-car convoy belonged to the National Democratic Institute, and among the dead was an American, a Hungarian, a Croatian, and an Iraqi, said Les Campbell, the group's Middle East director. Their names were not released.
The latest explosion, which also injured 33 people, occurred at 3:55 p.m. near the outdoor Mereidi market, one of the neighborhood's most popular commercial centers, police said. The force of the blast shattered the windows of nearby stores and restaurants.
On Tuesday, twin car bombs struck Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, not far from Sadr City, as students lined up for the ride home, leaving at least 70 dead and more than 130 injured.
It was the single deadliest attack on civilians in Iraq since Nov. 23, when a series of car bombs and mortar attacks by suspected Al Qaeda in Iraq fighters in Sadr City slum killed at least 215 people.
Another suicide car bomb exploded earlier yesterday at a checkpoint in Kirkuk after guards opened fire as the driver approached a police station, police said. The blast killed eight people and injured dozens.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said yesterday that 400 militiamen loyal to radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr had been arrested within the past few days, The
Also, state television reported that at least 100 insurgents were killed yesterday in clashes with Iraqi troops in a predominantly Sunni region northeast of Baghdad. Troops captured dozens of insurgents and seized large amounts of ammunition, the state-run Iraqiya channel said, quoting police. The report couldn't immediately be confirmed with Iraqi authorities.
Two more American soldiers died this week, the US military said. One soldier from the First Brigade, First Armored Division died yesterday from wounds sustained in an operation in Anbar, west of Baghdad. Another soldier from Regimental Combat Team 5 died Monday, the military said.
The deaths brought the toll of US military members who have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003 to 3,028, according to an Associated Press count.
The US capture last week of six Iranians working at a liaison office in Irbil drew criticism yesterday from the leader of the 130-member Shi'ite bloc in parliament, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim. One of the six was released and the five others were alleged to be connected to an Iranian Revolutionary Guard faction that funds insurgents in Iraq.