Bombs targeting a take-out restaurant and a commuter bus in the Iraqi capital killed at least four people Monday, highlighting the continuing challenge to Iraqi forces of maintaining security in the country.
The two bombings and another at a cafe in Baghdad on Sunday suggest that insurgents are taking advantage of the transition from U.S. forces to Iraqi security that happened at the end of June to stage attacks.
A bomb explosion at the Shatt al-Arab kebab shop in southwestern Baghdad killed at least two people, said police. The blast in the mixed predominantly Shiite district of Bayaa also wounded four people.
A few hours later, a bomb attached to a minibus exploded during afternoon rush hour in the city's northern Shaab district, killing two people and wounding nine others, said police. The minibus was carrying commuters from the capital's central bus station.
A day earlier, a bomb attached to a motorcycle exploded near a popular cafe in a largely Sunni district of Baghdad, killing five people, authorities said.
The bombings come as the U.S. military has begun winding down operations ahead of its withdrawal of combat troops on Aug. 31, 2010. A U.S.-Iraqi security pact requires all American troops to withdraw by the end of 2011.
Elsewhere Monday, gunmen killed a senior police official in Mosul, another police official said.
The officials all spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information to the media.