Baghdad car bomb kills 25 near police station
Two U.S. troops killed in action during the weekend
This was the scene following the suicide car bombing Sunday.
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A suicide car bomb killed 25 people and wounded 33 others Sunday near al-Rashad police station in Baghdad, the city's emergency police said.
Iraqi police were among the casualties and most of the victims were civilians.
The explosion -- in the Jadida neighborhood of the southeastern part of the capital -- destroyed 25 vehicles and eight shops, Iraqi police said.
An explosive ordnance disposal team at the site of the blast said the bomber used a semi-truck loaded with 500 pounds of explosives, according to a U.S. military news release.
Earlier Sunday, a child was killed and six other Iraqi civilians were wounded when a bomb exploded near their minibus, police said.
The device exploded after a police patrol passed, and police said they suspected the patrol was the intended target.
Insurgents have regularly targeted police and security forces in an effort to destabilize the country.
The blast took place in the area of Kamishly, near the town of Hilla, south of Baghdad, about 8:45 a.m. (12:45 a.m. ET), according to Iraqi police sources in Hilla.
Other violence in Iraq on Sunday included a mortar round that exploded inside Iraq's Interior Ministry compound about 8 a.m., authorities said. The attack killed an Iraqi police officer and wounded another.
In another attack, Lt. Col. Imad Hatem Khalaf, head of al-Kadhimiya police station, was assassinated Sunday in northwestern Baghdad's Huriya neighborhood by unknown gunmen, police said.
Khalaf was on his way to work about 9:15 a.m. when the gunmen intercepted his private car and sprayed it with bullets. He is believed to have died instantly, police said.
U.S. troops killed
An American soldier was killed and two were wounded Sunday afternoon in what a military news release called an attack by "indirect fire" on a base near Balad, 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Baghdad.
The soldiers were members of Task Force Liberty, led by the U.S. 42nd Infantry Division from New York state. Indirect fire usually refers to mortars or rockets.
A U.S. Marine was killed Saturday by a makeshift bomb "during combat operations" near Rutbah, a desert town 220 miles (352 kilometers) west of Baghdad, according to a military news release.
The Marine was assigned to Regimental Combat Team-2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).
Their deaths brought to 1,773 the number of U.S. troops killed in the war, according to Pentagon and U.S. Central Command figures.
U.S. ambassador meets leaders
Sunday's violence came a day after Zalmay Khalilzad, the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq, met with leaders of the Iraq's fledgling government.
Khalilzad said "security challenges" cannot be met with military might alone.
Speaking at a news conference Saturday in Baghdad with President Jalal Talabani, Khalilzad said political progress, economic development and improved relations among the country's diverse groups are key in prevailing over the insurgency.
Khalilzad, who presented his diplomatic credentials to Iraqi authorities in June, will spend a few weeks in Baghdad before visiting Iraqis in other parts of the country.
"Insurgents, terrorists do not want reconstruction to take place; they do not want economic progress to take place," Khalilzad said.
"They want to intensify violence; they want to, on occasion, cause civil strife and civil war in Iraq. Iraqis want to succeed like people everywhere."
The ambassador praised Talabani -- a Kurd in a largely Arab country -- for "playing a key role in bringing Iraq's diverse communities together to achieve a national compact in agreement among all Iraqis to shape their political future and to enshrine that national compact in a new constitution for the country."
Political progress has been difficult in Iraq. The next goal for the government, elected in January, is the writing of a constitution by August 15.
The Sunni delegation in the constitution draft process suspended its participation after a committee member, Mijbil Ali Hussein al-Sheikh Issa, was shot and killed in Baghdad last week. Two other people, including a consultant to the committee, also were killed.
The 14-member Sunni delegation wants several assurances before it returns to the painstaking work of completing a draft document, a Western official said.
The delegation wants better security and an international probe into the deaths, said the Western official, who told reporters the Sunnis have expressed doubts about the credibility of an Interior Ministry probe.
In addition, Sunni Arabs want assurances that a draft not be disseminated until work is completed and that regional geographic divisions not be written into the document, the official said.
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