A suicide car bomb in Baghdad outside a restaurant left at least 9 dead and over 100 injured.
The attack was timed to cause as many casualties as possible, exploding at lunchtime in a busy street.
It was just one of several attacks in the last 24 hours, confirming that insurgents are continuing to step up their activities since the new government was announced last April.
Earlier a political advisor to the Iraqi Prime Minister was gunned down along with his driver. Wael Rubaie was an official for the Ministry of State for National security.
Al Qaeda’s wing in Iraq claims to have been behind the assassinations.
And insurgents also struck in the town of Samarra, targeting a US base with two car bombs and a suicide bomber. Four Iraqis were killed along with four US soldiers.
But while the Americans have lost personnel, they have also been active. In what has been called “Operation Squeeze Play”, 285 suspected insurgents have been arrested in the western Baghdad district of Abu Ghraib.
The operation targeted areas where the US believed militants where launching attacks on the capital.