Two suicide bombers blew themselves up near a restaurant frequented by Baghdad police, killing at least 35 people and seriously injuring 25, while a car bomb killed seven army recruits in Saddam Hussein's hometown, police said.
The bombers struck at about 9:45 a.m., when officers usually stop by the restaurant for breakfast. Police Maj. Falah al-Mohammedawi said 35 officers and civilians died and 25 were wounded.
The blasts came just before British Foreign Secretary Straw was expected in the country for a meeting with Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
Samiya Mohammed, a housewife who lives nearby, said she rushed outside when she heard the explosion.
"I went out to see the restaurant heavily damaged. There was bodies, mostly civilians, and blood everywhere inside the place. This is a criminal act that only targeted and hurt innocent people having their breakfast," she said.
There were no Americans in the area, she said.
"I do not understand why most of the time it is the Iraqis who are killed," she said.
In other developments:
A car bomb in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, 80 miles north of Baghdad, detonated in the middle of a group of men outside an Iraqi army recruiting center, killing seven and injuring 13, police Capt. Hakim al-Azawi said. The men were former officers under Hussein who were recently invited to rejoin the military to help fill out the ranks, Azawi said. The total death toll from the two attacks is 42.
Two car bombs exploded Wednesday night near a Shiite mosque in Baghdad, killing six people, police said.
Five policemen were killed when a suicide car bomber struck a patrol near Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.
Police in the northern city of Kirkuk confirmed Wednesday that the brother of a leading Sunni Arab politician was kidnapped the day before by gunmen wearing army uniforms. Hatam Mahdi al-Hassani is the brother of parliament speaker Hajim al-Hassani. Sunni insurgents have threatened members of their community who take part in politics, but Iraq also has numerous criminal gangs involved in kidnappings.
Iraqi soldiers found the bodies of 27 people near the Iranian border Thursday, an Iraqi officer said, adding that they appeared to have been dead for several days.
The victims were bound, shot in the head and wearing civilian clothes when they were found near Jassan, 130 miles southeast of Baghdad, Iraqi Army Col. Ali Mahmoud said. The identities of the victims were not immediately known.
Groups of dead bodies — suspected victims of sectarian death squads — turn up with alarming regularity in Iraq. Officials suspect that death squads from the Shiite majority or the Sunni minority are responsible for the killings.
At least 566 bodies have been found since Iraq's interim government was formed April 28 — 204 in Baghdad — according to an Associated Press count. The identities of many are unknown, but 116 are known to be Sunnis, 43 Shiites and one Kurd. Some are likely victims of crime — including kidnappings — rampant in some cities and as dangerous to Iraqis as political violence.