A series of explosions hit a Shiite neighborhood in southeastern Baghdad Tuesday, killing eight people and wounding dozens of others, just a day after blasts across the country killed more than 50, Iraq’s Interior Ministry said. A ministry official said three explosions — two from car bombs and one from an improvised explosive device — hit a mosque, a coffee shop and gas station in Baghdad’s Ameen neighborhood.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a surprise visit to Baghdad Tuesday on a trip seen as aimed at raising his country’s stake in Iraqi reconstruction and easing frictions with Washington over the U.S.-led invasion of 2003. Sarkozy, the first French president to visit the country, met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki during the brief trip ahead of a tour of Gulf states. The French leader described his visit as a vanguard of French economic involvement in rebuilding Iraq and an attempt to strengthen European ties