Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility Thursday for two nearly simultaneous bombings near an Interior Ministry office in Baghdad that killed 18 people and left at least 36 injured.
An Internet posting says the militant group was targeting the interior minister.
The claim, though, couldn't be independently verified.
Police say U.S. forces have since cleared the area and detonated a third car that apparently failed to detonate earlier.
Another militant group, Ansar al-Sunnah, is claiming responsibility for a gun attack in Kirkuk that killed five officers and a civilian.
An Internet posting says "knights of Islam" committed the attack.