At least 18 people are dead in three suicide car bombings in northern Iraq, including a regional leader and a bodyguard for Iraq's Kurdish deputy prime minister.
The deadliest blast destroyed a restaurant in the northern town of Tuz Khurmatu, where the bodyguards of Deputy Prime Minister Roj Shaways were dining. Police say 12 people died and at least 40 were wounded.
Mr. Shaways was not present when the bomber struck. In Baquba, a suicide attack on an Iraqi government convoy killed at least four people, including the deputy head of the provincial government.
Separately, a car bomber killed at least one Iraqi at the gates of a state oil firm in Kirkuk. Meanwhile, Iraqi troops continue a security sweep of Baghdad that officials say netted 700 suspected terrorists in its first four days.