BAGHDAD (AP) — Two separate car bomb attacks in central Iraq killed at least eight people and wounded 27 on Wednesday, officials said.
The first attack took place in Baghdad's eastern suburb of Huaasinya when a parked car bomb went off early in the morning, killing four civilians, two police officials said.
Twelve people, including four policemen working at a nearby checkpoint, were wounded in the bombing, the officials said. The Shiite-dominated district is located some 25 kilometers (15 miles) east of the center of the Iraqi capital.
Around noon, another parked car bomb exploded near a group of anti-al-Qaida Sunni fighters near the former insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad.
The pro-government militiamen had gathered outside a military post to receive their salaries. The explosion killed three of the fighters and one civilian, two police officers said. The blast also wounded 15 people, the officers added.
The group, known as Sahwa, is made up of Sunni Arabs who joined forces with the U.S. military to fight al-Qaida at the height of Iraq's insurgency. They have since been regularly targeted by Sunni insurgents who see them as traitors.
Four medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Violence in Iraq has spiked since April 23, when security forces tried to make arrests at a Sunni Muslim protest camp in the northern city of Hawija. In April, the death toll in Iraq hit 402, up from the previous month's toll that stood at 254.
Associated Press writer Sameer N. Yacoub contributed to this report.