A suicide car bombing killed 17 people near Baghdad's Oil Ministry on Sunday, a ministry spokesman said.
"The blast apparently took place at an intersection in front of the police academy (which is near the Oil Ministry), Most of the dead were passersby, including seven women," spokesman Assem Jihad told reporters.
There were recruits lining up near the police academy at the time and they may have been the intended target, Jihad said.
Earlier the blast was thought to be caused by a rocket but the US military statement said that the blast was caused by a carbombing, killing three people according to initial reports.
The blast was one of two car bombings that rocked eastern Baghdad Sunday morning, the other blast targeted a US military convoy, wounding one soldier.