Car bomb kills 4 in town south of Baghdad
Baghdad, Mar 15: A car bomb exploded today as a bus carrying state employees passed by in the town of Iskandariya, south of Baghdad, killing four people and wounding 24, a police source said.
The blast hit the bus carrying workers for a state mechanical industry company, police said. Two days ago a senior executive in the company was killed by gunmen in the town, 40 km from the Iraqi capital.
US and Iraqi forces are one month into a major crackdown on security in the capital but US commanders have warned that some insurgents are regrouping and moving out of Baghdad, intensifying their attacks in the surrounding area.
The area immediately south of Baghdad, with a mixed population of Sunni Arabs and Shi'tes, is one of many in Iraq that has seen relentless violence.
Major General William Caldwell yesterday said murders and executions in the capital had been halved in the past month but that ''sensational'' car bombs blamed on al Qaeda and other Sunni Arab militants had spiked in February.
He said US forces were focusing their efforts on finding car bomb factories believed to be on the outskirts of Baghdad and in the beltway around it.