Police: Bomb kills 2 near Iraq mosque

September 22, 2011 - 12:55 PM

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi police say two people have been killed and 15 wounded in a car bombing near a Shiite mosque south of Baghdad.

Hillah police spokesman Maj. Muthana Khalid said the car blew up around 7 p.m. Thursday outside a restaurant in the mostly Shiite city of Iskandariyah, 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Baghdad. Hillah is about a half hour south of Iskandariyah by car.

Mansour al-Mani, a member of the Babil provincial council that represents Iskandariyah, said the blast killed a child and a woman. He said two police were wounded.

Khalid said the restaurant is next to the mosque.

Shiite mosques have been a frequent target for Sunni insurgents looking to revive sectarian violence in Iraq as U.S. forces prepare to leave by the end of the year.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's parliament's speaker says the government has failed to tell lawmakers how many U.S. troops might be need to stay in the country beyond an and-of-the-year deadline for Americans to leave Iraq.

Osama al-Nujaifi said during in a press conference on Thursday that the government has not even briefed the parliament about the ability of Iraq's forces to protect the country.

His remarks show how little progress has been made on a top political issue facing Iraq just months before the final withdrawal.

Al-Nujaifi is the highest-ranking Sunni in Iraq. He is trying to broker agreement between Shiites and Kurds on a host of issues slowing the government, including the issue of U.S. troops.

Iraq's government is weighing whether some U.S. troops should stay to help train its security forces.