Iraq officials: Baghdad bomb blast kills 1

A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol in southeastern Baghdad killed one person on Sunday, officials said. The attack came two days after a blast in the same area claimed the lives of 33 people.

The bomb in Baghdad's predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Zafaraniyah wounded nine others, police said. A police vehicle and a civilian car were damaged by the explosion, they added.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualties.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

On Friday, a suicide car bomber struck a Shiite funeral procession in Zafaraniyah. Many Iraqis suspect al-Qaida militants of engineering a recent series of attacks on Shiites to provoke a counterattack by Shiite militias, and rekindle widespread sectarian conflict now that U.S. troops have left Iraq.

Al-Qaida and other Sunni extremist groups are also thought to be exploiting sectarian tensions in the wake of a political crisis which erupted last month, after authorities in the Shiite-dominated government issued an arrest warrant against the Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi on terrorism charges.

In protest, the Sunni-backed bloc has been boycotting parliament and Cabinet sessions.

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