At least 37 people were killed Monday in eight bombings – including– an increase in violence that one Iraqi lawmaker blames on continued discord within the national government.
CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier, cameraman Paul Douglas, and soundman James Brolan were doing what they thought would be a Memorial Day story on U.S. soldiers in Iraq when a bomb exploded just a few feet away in Baghdad.
Dozier was critically wounded and has been flown to a U.S. military hospital in Germany for further treatment; Douglas and Brolan died at the scene. The bomb also killed a U.S. soldier and an Iraqi translator, and injured six other U.S. soldiers.
The death of the U.S. soldier came as the United States marked Memorial Day. It brought to 2,467 the number of U.S. military members who have died since the war started in 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
The wave of car bombings – most of them in Baghdad - and other attacks swept both Sunni and Shiite areas of Iraq as the trial of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein moved through another day and Iraqi politicians continued the struggle over who should occupy key posts in the new national government.
"The deteriorating security situation is due to the fact that the interior and defense ministries are still unfilled posts," said Shiite legislator Baha al-Araji.
In other recent developments in Iraq:
A roadside bomb killed two police officers and wounded three others in downtown Baghdad's Karradah district. Two other police officers were shot to death in an attack on a convoy in western Baghdad. And in Amarah, 180 miles southeast of Baghdad, a group killed two other police officers, both of whom were identified as former Baathists – the political party of deposed ruler Saddam Hussein.
U.S. officials have expressed the hope that Iraqis will soon be able to take on more security duties, allowing American forces to begin pulling out.
But more than a week after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's unity government took office, Iraq's ethnic, sectarian and secular parties are struggling to agree on who should run the crucial interior and defense ministries, which control the various Iraqi security forces.
The Shiite-dominated Interior Ministry, which controls the police forces, has been promised to that community. Sunni Arabs are to get the defense ministry, overseeing the army.
Those promises were made with the intention that the resulting balance of power between ethnic factions would enable al-Maliki to move ahead with a plan for Iraqis to take on all security duties over the next 18 months. He wants to try to attract army recruits from among the Sunni Arab minority, which provides the core of the insurgency.
Nadira al-Ani, a member of the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party, called for the defense minister to be given more power.
"I certainly hope that the defense minister will be a strong character ... to create a balance," she said during a round-table discussion between female Iraqi legislators and British human rights envoy Ann Clwyd in the heavily secured Green Zone.