BAGHDAD (AP) — A series of attacks on a bus stop, police patrol and a convoy carrying the head of a university on Thursday in Iraq killed eight people and wounded 20 others, authorities said.
One explosion occurred when a car filled with explosives blew up near a bus stop in the mainly Shiite neighborhood of Hurriyah as commuters gathered to catch rides to various parts of Baghdad. The blast killed five people and wounded 15 others, police officials said.
The new violence comes amid a wave of discontent among the Sunni majority over alleged discrimination by the government led by the Shiite minority sect. Protests swept Sunni areas in Anbar province and other parts of the country after the arrests of bodyguards assigned to Finance Minister Rafia al-Issawi, one of the central government's most senior Sunni officials.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday's bombing. Attacks against Shiites are typically the work of Sunni extremists.
Several minibuses and cars were damaged or burned in the attack and a photographer for The Associated Press at the scene saw damage to houses near the blast site. Security forces sealed off the area while firefighters used water hoses in order to clean up the area.
Also on Thursday, a roadside bomb hit the convoy of Fadhil al-Dulaimi, the head of Diyala University, as he was heading to his office in Baqouba city. Two bodyguards were killed and two others were wounded. A provincial police official said al-Dulaimi was not hurt in the attack. Baqouba is 60 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad.
Hours later, police said a roadside bomb struck a police patrol in southeastern Baghdad, killing one civilian bystander and wounding three policemen.
Medics in a nearby hospital confirmed the casualty figures.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media.