A bomb went off in a motorcycle parked in the courtyard of a Shiite mosque in Baghdad, killing 11 people and wounding at least nine, the deadliest of the attacks across Iraq that claimed 40 lives Tuesday.
The bombing in the mixed Tunis neighborhood bore the markings of the sectarian violence tormenting Iraq. The mosque is near the Sunni Arab stronghold of Azamiyah, and Interior Ministry Lt. Col. Falah al-Mohammedawi said the explosion occurred a couple of hours before the 11 p.m. Baghdad curfew.
An hour later, police said a roadside bomb exploded outside a bakery in southeast Baghdad, killing three people and wounding 12. Five people were killed earlier in the day when a car bomb exploded at the entrance to a police station in Baghdad's biggest Shiite neighborhood.
Dozens of Iraqis were killed nearly every day in the weeks leading up to formation of the new unity government, which many hope will eventually provide Iraq with enough security to allow the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
The swearing in Saturday of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government again brought to the forefront the possibility that some foreign troops could start packing for home within months.
U.S. President George W. Bush, facing political pressure for troop cutbacks, said Tuesday he would make a fresh assessment about Iraq's needs for U.S. military help now that a new government has taken office in Baghdad.
Al-Maliki and visiting British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Iraqi security forces would start taking control of some provinces and cities next month, a process a British official suggested could lead to full withdrawal of foreign troops in four years.
"We haven't gotten to the point yet where the new government is sitting down with our commanders to come up with a joint way forward," Bush said. "However, having said that, this is a new chapter in our relationship. In other words, we're now able to take a new assessment about the needs necessary for the Iraqis," reports the AP.