The White House has forcefully condemned a suicide car bombing in the Iraqi capital that killed at least 27 people, many of them children.
Spokesman Scott McClellan issued the condemnation hours after a bomber in eastern Baghdad exploded his vehicle in a crowd of children who had gathered to grab candy handed out by U.S. troops.
Mr. McClellan said those who planned and carried out the attack are not religious, and he accused them of spreading a hateful ideology under the guise of religion.
A similar Baghdad attack last September killed 35 children who were running toward U.S. troops throwing sweets from a convoy.
Meanwhile, Iraq's Interior Ministry says it is probing the deaths of 11 men - 10 of them Sunnis - who were arrested Sunday and allegedly tortured by government security forces.
A Sunni leader said the bodies, including one of a Sunni cleric, showed signs of torture.