A suicide car bomber in Baghdad detonated his vehicle next to a U.S. military Humvee, amid a crowd of Iraqi children. Police say the blast killed 24 people, including up to a dozen children and one U.S. soldier.
Neighborhood resident Abbas Ali Jassem described the U.S. patrol entering the neighborhood and children starting to run behind it.
Suddenly an explosion occurred, leaving the east Baghdad neighborhood in shock.
Police Lt. Ali Abbas said that most of the bodies brought to the nearby al-Kindi Hospital were those of children. The U.S. military said at least seven children were killed.
According to a statement from Task Force Baghdad, three American soldiers and "multiple Iraqi civilians" were wounded in the late morning blast, which also set a nearby house on fire.
Iraqi police and fire-fighters came to the scene, while U.S. forces helped evacuate the wounded.
Witnesses also described the charred remains of an engine block and a blood-spattered child's bicycle on the pavement.
Last September, bombs killed 35 children as U.S. troops handed out candy at the inauguration of a sewage-treatment plant in west Baghdad, the largest death toll of children in an insurgent attack since the Iraq conflict began in 2003.
Tuesday in an interview for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer television program, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Richard Myers said coalition forces in Baghdad had captured a key aide to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most-wanted terrorist in Iraq. General Myers said that Abu Abd al-Aziz was Zarqawi's top lieutenant in Baghdad.
Foreign fighters recruited to Zarqawi's al-Qaida in Iraq network are thought to be behind most of the suicide attacks in the country.