The militant group al-Qaida in Iraq is claiming responsibility for two bombings that killed 18 people in Baghdad.
The near-simultaneous strikes hit near an Interior Ministry office. At least 36 people were injured in the powerful explosion that knocked people nearby to the ground.
The Internet posting says the militant group was targeting police guarding the interior minister's office. The claim, though, couldn't be independently verified.
Police say U.S. forces have since cleared the area and detonated
a third car that apparently failed to detonate earlier.
Another militant group, Ansar al-Sunnah, is claiming responsibility for a gun attack in Kirkuk that killed five officers and a civilian. The Internet posting says "knights of Islam" committed the attack.