Two drive-by shootings and a car bomb that exploded near a US convoy killed at least two Iraqis in Baghdad on Wednesday, an Interior Ministry official said as a surge of violence by fighters continued in the capital.

 

In Wednesday's violence, a car bomb exploded near a US convoy in an area of western Baghdad where Abu Ghraib prison is located, setting an oil tanker on fire, said police Major Musa Abd al-Karim.

 

Muhammad Abd Allah, an Iraqi journalist, told Aljazeera a US military vehicle was burnt in the attack and a number of civilians injured in the explosion.

 

US forces have cordoned off the explosion site, preventing anyone, including reporters, form approaching it, he said.   

Drive by shooting

In Sadr City in eastern Baghdad, armed men in a speeding car opened fire on policeman Ali Talib as he walked towards his car, killing him, said police Colonel Husain Abd al-Wahid.

In eastern Baghdad, a Health Ministry car was attacked by armed men, killing the Iraqi driver and wounding one unidentified passenger, said police Colonel Hasan Jalub.

 

In the southern city of Basra, where most of the British forces in Iraq are based, Abd al-Batat, a former aide to Saddam

Hussein's half brother, Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hasan, was killed on Tuesday when fighters opened fire on him outside his home, said police Lieutenant-Colonel Karim al-Zaydi.

 

Al-Hasan, who was also suspected of financing fighters after US troops ousted Saddam, was captured in Syria and turned over to Iraqi authorities in February.

 

US soldiers killed

 

On Tuesday night, an attack by a car bomber near an American patrol in southern Baghdad killed two US soldiers and wounded four, Lieutenant-Colonel Clifford Kent, a spokesman for the US 3rd Infantry Division, said on Wednesday.

 

The explosion occurred in Baghdad's al-Amil area.

 

Seven Iraqi civilians also were taken to al-Yarmuk hospital with injuries, an official said on Wednesday.

 

It was one of a series of attacks by fighters in Iraq on Tuesday, which killed a dozen other Iraqis and wounded more than 60.