Two car bombs exploded nearly simultaneously in a Shiite area of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least eight and wounding dozens, police and hospital officials said.

In the northern city of Kirkuk, meanwhile, a suicide truck bomb struck a Kurdish political office, killing four people and wounding seven, police said.

The car bombings came a day after masked Shiite gunmen ambushed Sunni Arabs in western Baghdad, a dramatic escalation of sectarian violence that killed 41 people.

CountryWatch: Iraq

First a car parked near a repair shop on the edge of the Shiite slum of Sadr City blew up. Minutes later, a suicide car bomber drove into the crowd that had gathered near the site.

Officials at hospitals where the victims were taken said at least eight people were killed and 41 wounded.

In Kirkuk, the truck exploded as it tried to plow through a concrete wall surrounding the complex of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of the main Kurdish political parties in Iraq. Four people were killed and seven were wounded, police Brig. Sarhat Qadir said.

The oil-rich city of Kirkuk is 180 miles north of Baghdad.

Elsewhere, a roadside bomb struck a police patrol near a restaurant in eastern Baghdad, wounding three policemen, police Lt. Ahmed Qassim said. A police patrol in the predominantly Shiite city of Hillah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad, also hit a roadside bomb, leaving one policeman dead and four wounded, army Capt. Hassim al-Khafaji said.

Meanwhile, police said they found five unidentified bodies in Suwayrah, 25 miles south of Baghdad. The bodies of five men also were found in Kut, 100 miles southeast of the capital, police Lt. Fikrat Mohammed said.