Suicide bomber kills 23 at Baghdad eatery
A Baghdad restaurant is in shambles Sunday after a suicide bombing.
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Wearing a vest of explosives, a suicide bomber blew himself up and killed at least 23 people Sunday at a crowded Baghdad restaurant where Iraqi police and security forces were eating lunch, Iraq police said.
Seven of the dead were police officers, police said. The attack also wounded 36 people, including 16 policemen, police said.
The Kabob restaurant is in central Baghdad near a checkpoint leading to the heavily fortified Green Zone, seat of Iraq's government and U.S. operations.
Earlier Sunday, a parked car bomb exploded in northwest Baghdad as an Iraqi police convoy passed by, killing three Iraqis and wounding 30 others, police said.
The car -- which was remotely detonated -- was parked in Kadhumiya-Aden square, police said.
Also Sunday in Baghdad, gunmen shot and killed two Iraqi police officers, police said.
The officers were on their way to work when gunmen attacked them with small-arms fire in the northwestern neighborhood of al-Iskan, police said.
Al Qaeda in Iraq statement?
A statement Sunday posted on Islamic Web sites and attributed to al Qaeda in Iraq called U.S. efforts in the country "doomed."
The group, led by wanted insurgent Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is behind many deadly attacks against military and civilian targets in Iraq, the U.S. and Iraqi governments say.
The new statement appeared to respond directly to President Bush's weekly radio address Saturday.
In the address, Bush said that "by making their stand in Iraq, the terrorists have made Iraq a vital test for the future security of our country and the free world. We will settle for nothing less than victory." (Full story)
The purported al Qaeda in Iraq statement asked: "What tests for your doomed military forces are you talking about? The test that you failed or the tough test that you've been through in Iraq?"
It also asked: "Who promised you victory, loser?"
"God has promised us, and who is more faithful and credible than God?" the statement said.
It also called Bush a "lying devil" and vowed, "We will break the cross."
Marine killed in Operation Spear
A U.S. Marine was killed and three others wounded Saturday, the Marines said, as Operation Spear continues in Karabila, five miles from the Syrian border in a lawless region of Iraq's Anbar province.
A man with an AK-47 rifle charged down the stairs of a home in Karabila, spraying gunfire and sparking a firefight that left the Marine dead and the others wounded, the Marines said. The man also was killed as he ran out of the house, the Marines said.
The number of American troops killed in the Iraq war stands at 1,719, according to U.S. military reports.
U.S. and Iraqi troops are carrying out a second major offensive in 24 hours in Anbar.
Operation Dagger began Saturday about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. Its mission is to find weapons caches and insurgent hideouts in an area west of Lake Thar-Thar.
Also in Anbar province, American Marines killed 15 insurgents Sunday near Falluja, west of Baghdad, and detained 24 others, the Marines said. No Marines were hurt or killed, a statement said. The Marines said insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades and small arms at the Americans southwest of Falluja.
CNN's Jane Arraf, Caroline Faraj and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.
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