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Car Bombs Leave 37 Dead in Iraq

Small restaurants burn after a car bomb attack in the Shiite district of Baghdad's Sadr City, Dec. 4, 2014.

At least two car bombs killed as many as 37 people Thursday in Iraq, apparently targeting Shiites and Kurds.

One blast struck a busy cafe district in a Kurdish neighborhood in Kirkuk. Another bomb hit the Sadr City region of Baghdad.

Terrorist bombings are a near-daily occurrence in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.

Meanwhile, the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Stuart Jones, said U.S. forces have immunity from prosecution in Iraq.

Jones told the Associated Press he had received that assurance from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Jones said the immunity was part of a strategic agreement between Washington and Baghdad, under which U.S. forces are helping to train and equip Iraqis in their effort to defeat the Islamic State group.

The ambassador also said Iraqi Shiite militias that helped the military take back territory from the militants have been an effective fighting force and are playing an important role in securing the country. But he said they have to be brought under control of the Iraqi armed forces.

Human rights groups have accused some militia fighters of kidnapping, torturing and killing Sunni civilians.