Iraqi officials say car bombings killed 24 people in Baghdad Monday, as U.S. and Iraqi forces prepared a new security offensive in the capital.
The bombs exploded near a children's hospital and at a gas station and a garage.
Also Monday, the Iraqi and American forces opened a new command center for their upcoming security sweep in Baghdad. During the offensive, 90 thousand troops -- both Americans and Iraqis -- will operate in the city.
But some Iraqis say slow implementation of the plan has had a negative effect on Baghdad and left neighborhoods vulnerable to insurgent attacks.
Speaking in Washington on Monday, President Bush said it is a good sign that the Iraqi government wants the operation to begin.
Mr. Bush announced his plan to send more U.S. forces to Baghdad last month.
In other news, U.S. officials say Iraqi forces killed a commander of the Mahdi Army of radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. The Shi'ite commander, who died Sunday, was wanted for organizing kidnappings and attacks on coalition forces.
A roadside bomb killed a British soldier in Basra Monday. Another roadside bomb killed a U.S. soldier north of Baghdad on Sunday.