Update: Al Iraqiya is reporting that the suicide bomber in the attack on Mustansariya was a woman.
Firefighters try to extinguish flames after a car bomb blast in Baghdad. A car bomb exploded in the mainly Shiite district of Karradah in central Baghdad, killing at least one person and injuring four, police said. By Khalid Mohammed, AP
At least 41 die in Iraq blast
Updated 2/25/2007 9:38 AM ET
BAGHDAD (AP) — A suicide bomber struck Sunday outside a college campus in Baghdad, killing at least 41 people and injuring dozens as a string of other blasts and rocket attacks left bloodshed around the city.
Most of the victims were students at the college, a business studies annex of Mustansiriyah University that was hit by a series of deadly explosions last month. At least 46 people were injured in Sunday's blast.
The wave of attacks around Baghdad came a day after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki lauded the progress of an ongoing U.S.-Iraqi security operation seeking to cripple militant factions and sectarian killings in the capital.
The suicide attacker detonated a bomb-rigged belt near the main entrance to the college, where students were resuming midterm exams after the two-day weekend in Iraq. Police said that guards confronted the bomber as he tried to enter the college grounds.
A 22-year-old student, Muhanad Nasir, said he saw a commotion at the gate. "Then there was an explosion. I did not feel anything for 15 minutes and when I returned to consciousness, I found myself in the hospital," said Nasir, who was wounded in his head and chest.
The blast left cement walls pockmarked by shrapnel and twisted parts of the metal gate and turnstile. Parents rushed to the site and some collapsed in tears after learning their children were killed or injured. Students used rags and towels to try to mop up the blood.
The school is in a mostly Shiite district of northeast Baghdad, but does not limit its enrollment to that group. The main campus of Mustansiriyah University, located about 1 1/2 miles away, was the target of twin car bombs and a suicide blast last month that killed 70 people.
Earlier, two Katyusha rockets hit a Shiite enclave in southern Baghdad, killing at least 10, and a bomb near the fortified Green Zone claimed two lives, police said.
The Green Zone houses the U.S. and British embassies and key Iraqi government offices. The blast was about 100 yards from the Iranian Embassy, but authorities did not believe it was targeting the compound.
A separate car bombing in a Shiite district in central Baghdad killed at least one person and injured four, police said.
In the northern city of Mosul, U.S. troops killed two gunmen in a raid and captured a suspected local leader of the insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq, the military said. Additional details were no immediately available.
Iraq's interior ministry, meanwhile, raised the toll from a suicide truck bombing in the violence-wracked Anbar province on Saturday to 52 dead and 74 injured.
The attack on worshippers leaving a mosque in Habbaniyah, about 50 miles west of Baghdad, was believed linked to escalating internal Sunni battles between insurgents and those who oppose them.
U.S. military envoys and pro-government leaders have worked hard to sway clan chiefs and other influential Anbar figures to turn against the militants, who include foreigners fighting under the banner of al-Qaeda in Iraq. The extremists have fought back with targeted killings and bombings against fellow Sunnis.
The imam of the mosque attacked Saturday had spoken out against extremists — most recently in Friday's sermon, residents said. Many people in the neighborhood work for the Iraqi military and police forces, who frequently come under militant attack.