BAGHDAD, Iraq — U.S. jets struck targets in the insurgent bastion Fallujah on Friday, and U.S. officials said 10 people — including a family of four — were killed when a car bomb exploded near a Baghdad police station in a bloody start to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Witnesses said American troops detained Fallujah's top negotiator in peace talks with Iraqi officials that broke down this week.
American and Iraqi officials fear a repeat of the surge in attacks that ushered in Ramadan last year. Iraqi Sunni Muslims and many Shiites began Ramadan on Friday; other Iraqi Shiites start fasting Saturday.
U.S. jets and artillery pounded targets in the southern and eastern part of Fallujah — the major stronghold of Sunni insurgents — around sundown Friday as residents were taking the traditional meal that breaks the daily fast during Ramadan.
One resident, Salah Abd, said American troops had sealed off major roads out of the city, 40 miles west of Baghdad, preventing residents from leaving.
There were no reports of casualties from the evening raids. Dr. Rafia Hiyad of the Fallujah General Hospital said three people were killed and seven others injured during attacks the previous night.
In southwest Baghdad, a car packed with 300 pounds of explosives blew up Friday near a police station. The U.S. military said 10 civilians were killed, including a family of four who were driving by at the time of the blast. Iraqi hospital officials said 14 people were wounded.
"This is an act of terrorists," said Lt. Col. James Hutton, a spokesman for the 1st Cavalry Division. "These attacks kill innocent Iraqi people trying to live their lives in peace."
U.S. officials indicated the bombing of Fallujah was not a prelude to a major offensive into the city that officials have said they might launch sometime this fall.
The attacks began Thursday after peace talks between the Iraqi officials and city leaders broke down over the government's demand that they hand over terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, believed responsible for suicide bombings and beheading foreign hostages.
Khaled al-Jumeili, an Islamic cleric who served as the city's top negotiator in the talks, was arrested as he left a mosque after Friday prayers in a village about 10 miles south of Fallujah, witnesses said. There was no confirmation from U.S. authorities.
Fallujah fell under control of radical clerics and their armed mujahedeen fighters after the Marines lifted their three-week siege of the city in April.
On Friday, the Association of Muslim Scholars, a Sunni group with ties to some insurgents, called upon political parties to withdraw from the government to protest bloodshed in Fallujah, Samarra and other cities.
Fallujah clerics also threatened a civil disobedience campaign across the country — and if that didn't work, a jihad — if the Americans try to overrun the city.
They insisted that the Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi was not in Fallujah, claiming his alleged presence "is a lie just like the weapons of mass destruction lie."
"Al-Zarqawi has become the pretext for flattening civilians houses and killing innocent civilians," the statement said.
Al-Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad group claimed responsibility for Thursday's twin bombings inside Baghdad's heavily guarded Green Zone — home to U.S. officials and the Iraqi leadership — which killed six people, including three American civilians, and wounded 27 others, mostly Iraqis. A fourth American was missing and presumed dead.
Two Iraqis were killed, at least one of them a suicide bomber. The identity of the other wasn't known. The group's claim, which could not be verified, was posted on a Web site known for its Islamic contents.
One of those injured, British contractor Michael Fitzpatrick, said he was sitting in the Green Zone Cafe drinking coffee when "there was this incredible explosion and I was somersaulting in the air."
"I'm burnt all over. I was in the middle of a giant fireball and I'm alive," he said from his hospital bed. "I'm so happy to be alive. I just want to go home and go fishing."
Contributing: Fisnik Abrashi, Rawya Rageh, Edward Harris.