BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A car bomb killed 17 people and wounded 25 others outside a restaurant in a Shi’ite neighborhood in southern Baghdad on Thursday, Iraqi police said.
Among the victims were women and children who were part of a group accompanying a newly wed couple.
The couple were in a nearby photographic shop having their pictures taken when the parked car exploded in the suburb of Abu Dshir, police said.
U.S. and Iraqi forces have launched a major military operation in and around Baghdad to stem sectarian bloodshed between majority Shi’ite and minority Sunni Arabs.
They have walled off popular markets, closed streets and stepped up the number of checkpoints to try to thwart car bomb attacks.
Police also said they had found 24 bodies in Baghdad on Thursday, mostly victims of roving sectarian death squads. Most had been shot dead.