Two attacks in
Rahim al-Darraji, the mayorof Sadr city, was seriously wounded and when of his bodyguards were killed whenhis convoy was attacked in eastern
Elsewhere Sabir al-Issawi,the head of
The bombing, whichpolice said was a suicide attack, occurred on
Rahim al-Darraji's convoy wasattacked in a drive-by shooting in the mostly Shia area of Habibiyah.
He had been involved innegotiations with US and Iraqi government officials seeking to persuade theShia militias that dominate the sprawling slum to pull their fighters off thestreets.
A car bombalso exploded next to a bus carrying state employees in the Iraqitown of
The blastfrom a parked car in Iskandiriya hit a bus carrying workers for a statemechanical industry company, police said.
Two days ago a senior executive in the company was killed by gunmen in thetown, 40km from the Iraqi capital.
The attackwill deal a blow to attempts by the Iraqi government to revitalise thecountry's near-dormant industrial sector.
Police saidthe blast occurred outside the Mechanical Industrial Development vehicleconcern, one of the few factories still operating in
Iskandiriyahas a number of factories but many are closed or operating at minimum capacity.
The deathsbrought to 3,203 the
US andIraqi forces are one month into a crackdown in the capital, but US commandershave said that some fighters are regrouping and moving out of
The areaimmediately south of
MajorGeneral William Caldwell said on Wednesday murders and executions in thecapital had been halved in the past month, but that "sensational" carbombs blamed on al-Qaeda and other Sunni Arab armed groups had spiked inFebruary.
A Pentagonreport released on Wednesday said
The reportsaid: "Although most attacks continue to be directed against coalitionforces, Iraqi civilians suffer the vast majority of the casualties."
A chartshowed a surge in sectarian incidents between September and December withmurders spiking to about 1,300 in December alone, from less than 100 in January2006.
During thelast three months of the year,
USmilitary reports losses
US soldiersalso killed an Iraqi soldier and wounded three more during a raid on an allegedan al-Qaeda network in the northern city of
Theincident occurred when US-led forces came under small-arms fire during theraid.
A militarystatement said: "Coalition forces returned fire, killing one and woundingthree others. Coalition forces later identified the armed men as Iraqi armysoldiers.
It said theincident is being investigated.