Tuesday’s events followed a wave of attacks in Baghdad Monday, which marked the bloodiest day since major combat ended in the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
The car bomb detonated near a police station and a school in Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad. Some residents speculated that the car bomber may have abandoned the vehicle after it appeared security was too tight around the police station and a mayor’s office, which was also located nearby.
Tawfiq Mijbel, who was injured in the blast, said he had been driving directly behind the vehicle that caused the explosion. “It stopped in front of the power company. A man got out, while another stayed in the car. A few seconds later it blew up,” Mijbel told the Associated Press from his hospital bed.
The four people who died were bystanders, and the death toll could reach six, said police Col. Jalal Sabri.
Earlier in the day, a roadside bomb in Basra wounded a coalition soldier, whose nationality was not immediately released, an Iraqi civilian and a non-Iraqi civilian, according to the British military. British forces are leading a multinational security force in Basra. A second blast in Basra also resulted in no casualties.
President Bush on Tuesday attributed the recent rash of attacks to Baathists, the party of ousted leader Saddam Hussein, and foreign terrorists who fear a free Iraq and want to “kill and create chaos.” He said the United States is working with Iran and Syria to secure their borders, and coalition forces are helping train Iraqi patrols along the border.
The attacks this week in Baghdad included car bombs at the lightly guarded headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross, known as the Red Crescent in the Middle East, and at three Iraqi police stations. The suicide bombers killed at least 34 people, including an American soldier, and injured an estimated 220 others.
A rocket assault on a hotel in Baghdad that serves as the headquarters of the Coalition Provisional Authority killed a senior U.S. military officer and wounded 17 others on Sunday.
Also on Sunday, unknown gunmen killed a deputy mayor of Baghdad in an apparent hit-and-run shooting, U.S. authorities reported Tuesday.
Faris Abdul Razzaq al-Assam, deputy mayor for technical services, had just returned from last week’s international Iraq conference of donors in Madrid, Spain.
Tom Basile, a spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority, said he had no details on the killing, other than that it occurred in Baghdad.
Al-Assam, one of three deputy mayors, had been a director-general in the infrastructure area in the previous municipal government, under the Baathist Party regime, and joined the new, postwar municipal leadership four months ago, the authority said.
Police and those holding political offices have been the targets of anti-U.S. resistance forces. In September, gunmen fatally wounded Aquila al-Hashimi, a member of the interim Iraqi Governing Council.