BAGHDAD - A suicide car bomber killed 19 police officers and cadets Sunday in an attack on a crowd outside a Baghdad police academy, police and hospital sources said.

The car exploded as it careered into a crowd of cadets whom police had just escorted out of the compound and were standing in the street outside, police working at the academy said.

Police and hospital sources said 14 cadets and five police were killed, and 26 people were wounded. All except two of the wounded were police or cadets.

“I can see body parts scattered on the ground and boots and berets covered with blood. Many cars were set ablaze,” said a policeman working at the academy on Palestine Street near the Interior Ministry headquarters in an eastern neighborhood in the Iraqi capital. At least seven other people were killed in attacks elsewhere in Iraq.

The ministry official told AFP the assailant was at the wheel of a car bomb and most of his victims were students applying to join the police force.

Security forces armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles were deployed on the street where the bombing occurred, preventing most cars from entering as a truck sprayed water on the site.

Tow-trucks dragged the burned-out remains of two cars down the street and off through traffic, leaving behind another car with its windshield shattered.

It was the deadliest attack in Iraq since January 27, when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed car outside a hospital in the Iraqi capital, killing 31 people.

Also on Sunday, gun and bomb attacks in other parts of the country killed seven people, among them four police informants, a policeman and two anti-Qaeda militiamen, and wounded four others, security officials said. “A group of suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen attacked a house in the centre of Baquba around 7:30 am (0430 GMT),” a police major in Baquba, 60 kilometres north of Baghdad, told AFP.

“The attackers killed three women and one man from one family inside the house,” the major said, adding they were all police informants.

Gunmen in a civilian car also attacked a checkpoint manned by police and anti-Qaeda Sahwa (Awakening) militia members in Abu Khamis, north of Baquba, killing a policeman and two Sahwa members, a police lieutenant colonel said. And two more Sahwa members were wounded by a roadside bomb near Samarra, 110 kilometres north of Baghdad, a lieutenant colonel in the Samarra police said. The Sahwa are made up of Sunni tribesmen who joined forces with the US military against Al-Qaeda from late 2006, helping turn the tide of the insurgency.