Separate Baghdad Bombings Kill 23

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Two near-simultaneous bombings targeted a crowded downtown Baghdad coffee shop and nearby restaurant, killing at least 23 people and wounding 26, according to police and hospital officials. The blasts occurred as the mother of abducted American reporter Jill Carroll appealed for her daughter's release after her captors threatened to kill her if U.S. authorities don't release all Iraqi women in military custody by Friday night.

Iraqi authorities said six of the eight detained Iraqi women are expected to be released by the U.S. military next week, but not as part of a bid to free Carroll, who was seized in Baghdad on Jan. 7. American officials declined to comment.