The doctor Iyad Muhammad said they included three brothers who were killed on Wednesday in their car by a roadside bomb planted to target US patrols.

 

In other incidents on Wednesday, at least 12 people including a US soldier were killed in a string of attacks in Baghdad.

At least four people were killed when a car bomb ripped through a residential neighbourhood, sending body parts hurtling onto the roof of nearby houses, the interior ministry said.

Mutilated bodies

Three mutilated bodies were seen covered in white and green cloth near to where the blast occurred down a small side street flanked by low-level apartments in southeast Baghdad.

Car bomb blast in Baghdad
claimed four lives

"The car does not belong to anyone in the neighbourhood. Someone came, put it there and left," said Hashim Hussein, 28, who lives in the area.

  

"There were five men standing in the street next to the car who are the victims of the explosion which was very powerful to the extent that body parts were thrown to the roof of the neighbouring houses," said Hussein.

 

Hospital hit

  

A smouldering wreck of twisted metal, cordoned off by Iraqi police, was all that was left of the car.

  

Another two people were killed and four wounded when a missile ripped through the  seventh floor of the Adnan Khairallah hospital on the Tigris river in Baghdad, although it was not immediately clear if the site was itself the target.

 

"The car does not belong to anyone in the neighbourhood. Someone came, put it there and left"

Hashim Hussein,
resident

"We heard three loud explosions and then a missile hit the seventh floor head on," said doctor Muhammad Tafash.

  

The missile punctured the glass front and passed through two wards. Remains of medical equipment and broken glass littered the blood-stained floor.


Denial

 

Meanwhile, the US military on Wednesday denied its helicopter was downed in Ramadi. It said a report from Iraqi police that the helicopter was shot down near Ramadi was false. 

An Iraqi police officer had also said three people aboard the helicopter had been killed.

   
"We have not had any casualties in the past 24 hours and no
downed helicopters," a spokesman for the US Marine Corps in
western Iraq said.