Iraqi Lawmakers Question Maliki about Security
Iraqi Lawmakers Question Maliki about Security

The office of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Thursday Iraqi security forces were not involved in last week's bombings in Baghdad, clarifying earlier remarks in which he appeared to suggest otherwise.

On Wednesday, Mr. Maliki was quoted as saying that about 45 suspects in the attacks that killed 127 people and wounded hundreds more, were linked to three different security force branches.

But the prime minister's office said in a statement Thursday that Mr. Maliki was actually citing the number of suspects caught by the various security forces.

In violence Thursday, a car bomb exploded outside a restaurant in central Baghdad, killing three people and wounding 16 others. 

The bomb went off near the convoy of lawmaker Nadim al-Jabari, though authorities say he was not in any of the vehicles.

In the northern city of Mosul, sources say a Christian worker was shot dead by unidentified gunmen.  The attack came two days after bombers struck two churches in Mosul, killing four people and wounding many others.

The Christian minority has been targeted in the past, and the city is one of the last remaining strongholds of al-Qaida fighters in Iraq.

U.S. military officials have predicted a rise in violence ahead of Iraq's parliamentary elections, scheduled for March 7.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.