BAGHDADÂ – Two car bombs exploded in southern Baghdad on Monday, killing 11 people during a visit to the city by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Iraqi police said.
Police said the bombs, which were packed in two cars waiting at a fuel station and exploded within minutes of each other, also wounded 30 people.
A prominent Sunni Arab sheikh was amongst those hurt but his injuries were not serious.
The attacks came as Gates was concluding a trip to Baghdad during which he praised the improved security in the country and said al Qaeda had been routed.
Attacks are down by 60 percent since last June, but U.S. commanders say al Qaeda, blamed for most large scale bombings, remains a dangerous enemy.