Bicycle Bomb Kills 5 in Iraq

A bomb attached to a bicycle killed five people in southern Iraq on Sunday, and at least five others were killed in violence across the country, police said.

The bloodshed comes as Iraqi lawmakers intensify negotiations over a new election law that many hope will hasten the end of political gridlock over control of oil-rich Kirkuk — an old dispute between Arabs and Kurds that has threatened Iraq's fragile stability as U.S. troops prepare to leave the country.

Maj. Muthana Khalid said a booby trapped bicycle exploded at a popular fruit and vegetable market Sunday near Hillah, the capital of Iraq's Babil province, 60 mile south of Baghdad.

Thirty-seven people were wounded in the attack, Khalid said.

In the western city of Ramadi, two people — including a policeman — were killed when twin car bombs exploded minutes apart in the visitors' parking lot of the city's Traffic Police Directorate.

Ramadi is the capital of Anbar province, 70 miles west of Baghdad.

Also Sunday, three people were killed when a bomb that was detonated remotely exploded on a bus as the vehicle approached a police checkpoint in the southern holy city of Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, officials said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the were not authorized to speak to the press.

Last week, twin suicide attacks in Baghdad killed 155 people, the worst attacks in Iraq in two years.

The bloodshed has raised the stakes for a new election law needed to hold parliamentary elections in January.