BAGHDAD, Iraq – Bloodshed in Iraq continued Tuesday as a car bomb exploded near Baghdad police headquarters (search), killing an Iraqi police officer and wounding at least 10 other bystanders.
Iraqi police, however, said none of their officers died. The current Baghdad police were trained by U.S. officials.
Fox News confirmed through Iraqi police that the car bomb was used to target acting Baghdad police chief Hassan al-Obeidi (search). Officials called the incident a terrorist attack.
Tuesday's bombing came just one day after a roadside bomb killed two U.S. soldiers and injured another. Another U.S. soldier was killed in a helicopter crash south of Baghdad.
The bombing took place in a parking lot near the police academy, about 10 feet from al-Obeidi's office, Fox News has learned.
The bomb detonated in an area where retrieved stolen cars were stored. Iraqi police officials told Fox News that the bomb could have been put in a car that was brought to the police station. About 40 pounds of explosives were used, they said.
Al-Obeidi closely associated with the U.S.-led occupation authority, especially former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik (search), who put him in his position. Kerik has been in Iraq to rebuild the country's police force.
Al-Obeidi was shot in the leg at the end of July during a weapons raid in downtown Baghdad. The day after the raid, he moved a bed into his office so he could continue to command the police force.
Tuesday's bomb was not as powerful as the bombs used in recent attacks in Najaf or the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad.
Nevertheless, huge plumes of black smoke rose above the scene, and U.S. military police and Iraqi police cordoned off the area.
One man, who had a shrapnel wound in his left arm, said he saw a hand lying in the road.
"There was debris blown everywhere," said Raad Majid, 27, who was about 30 yards away when the blast occurred.
The top U.S. administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer (search), expressed his condolences for the Iraqis killed in the car bomb to reporters in Iraq Tuesday.
"Terrorists have taken innocent lives and will stop at nothing in pursuit of their arms," Bremer said. "We shall stop them."
He said the coalition was investigating the recent bombings of the Jordanian embassy, U.N. headquarters and the Imam Ali mosque in Najaf.
"We take all three of these bombings very seriously," Bremer said. "We'll give every effort, leave no stone unturned."
Calling the terror attacks "barbarism," Bremer said reports of foreign fighters launching attacks against the U.S.-led coalition and Iraqis helping them "shows Iraq is one of the battlefields in the worldwide war against terror."
Bremer vowed that the attacks would not stop Iraqi progress toward sovereignty.
Also Tuesday, a Black Hawk UH-60 helicopter crashed south of Baghdad, killing one U.S. soldier and injuring another. The accident took place at around 12:30 a.m. and was a "non-hostile" incident, said Spc. Anthony Reinoso.
On Monday, two soldiers from the U.S. Army's 2nd Battalion of the 220th Military Police Brigade were killed when their Humvee struck an improvised explosive device along a main supply route south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. Another soldier was wounded.
The names of the soldiers were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
In all, 286 U.S. soldiers have died in the Iraq war; 148 since the end of heavy fighting.
The U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council (search) appointed a 25-member cabinet Monday and had drafted a constitution. Bremer said the constitution would be submitted to a referendum, followed later by elections to create a sovereign government.
The cabinet will complete the 2004 budget, Bremer said, and operate the government on a day-to-day basis.
"It is our intention to keep authority and responsibility closely linked," Bremer said, adding that coalition advisors "will not only yield authority but will thrust authority" onto the new ministers.
Bremer noted that the coalition had recruited three battalions of Iraqi civil-defense corps members, one of which was in training, and that almost 60,000 Iraqis had already been dealing with security issues.
The coalition wanted the national police force to be 65,000-75,000 strong by the end of 2004, Bremer said, a goal that may require increased assistance from other countries.
"We'd like to do that as quickly as we can, consistent with a high standard of training," he added.
Bremer also said Iraqi tribes had been securing pipelines and other pieces of the country's infrastructures, but that organized militias would not be allowed to play a large role in government or security functions.
Militiamen would be free to join the police, army, or civil defense corps, Bremer said, but accepting them as formal bodies would not be "consistent with a unified country."
Bremer also highlighted the need for better intelligence to prevent further attacks against Iraqis helping the coalition.
Iraqis needed to be encouraged to come forward with information, Bremer said. Useful tips about hidden weapons and fugitives had been flowing freely for about five weeks, he added.
Fox News' Greg Palkot and Liza Porteus and The Associated Press contributed to this report.