YWT: Reports of 18 children killed in bombing
JIM CLANCY: All right. We're going to have all of those stories for you ahead. But first we want to turn our attention to Iraq.
HALA GORANI: Well, that's where there's been another bombing that may have targeted children playing in a park.
CLANCY: It happened in the Sunni-dominated area of Ramadi. The news coming to us just a short time ago on a day of some optimism on efforts to try to stem the violence there.
GORANI: All right. We want to take you first to Baghdad. That's where Michael Ware is live with details first on that bombing in Ramadi targeting children, apparently -- Michael.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala.
What we're getting at this stage is early reporting from local Iraqi police in Ramadi, in Iraq's western Anbar Province. This is the province that the U.S. military, by and large, has conceded is at least politically controlled or dominated by al Qaeda. There we understand that shortly after 4:00 p.m., according to the Iraqi police, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive that killed as many as 18 children playing football --Hala.
GORANI: Violence -- amid all of this horrific violence, there seems to be at least a diplomatic effort in the works with regional powers, as well as European powers meeting in Baghdad.
Tell us about that.
WARE: Yes, what we have is, this is an Iraqi government initiative inviting its neighbors and the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council to a regional conference, as it's said, to look at ways to support the Iraqi government. The situation as we have it right now is that what it appears is that representatives of varying levels of the American, Iranian and Syrian governments at this stage are saying they're prepared to sit down together at the same table in the same room.
Now, in many ways, this is hugely symbolic gesture. Yet, there's been back-channel communications between these three entities for some time, by and large through the Iraqi government and other partners here in the region -- Hala.
GORANI: But the big question is, will it work? Will it make any difference when you say purely symbolic? I mean, that implies that it won't be as effective as some might hope it would be.
WARE: Well, at this point, nothing can really hurt. I mean, the situation here is so frightful. Though we're seeing some improvement in the day-to-day sectarian violence in the capital here in Baghdad as a result of the temporary surge of the Baghdad security plan, things are still in a perilous state. And a few meetings are not going to change that.
Indeed, we have Iraqi government officials saying this is merely a conference to appoint a date for a further summit some point down the track. We've had a lot of talk before. It's not expected that anything substantive will come out of this -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. Michael Ware in Baghdad.
Thank you, Michael -- Jim.