A U.S. Marine officer says at least one U-S soldier has been killed in a suicide bombing in central Baghdad.
Marine officer Matt Baker told reporters the attack happened at a military checkpoint north of the Palestine Hotel.
Another officer, Captain Joe Plenzer says a man with explosives strapped to his body approached the checkpoint and blew himself up.
A number of soldiers are said to have been wounded in the attack, which happened shortly after night fell in Baghdad today (Thursday).
U.S. forces trying to consolidate their control over the Iraqi capital have faced continued resistance from fighters loyal to Saddam Hussein. The U-S Central Command says one U-S Marine was killed and 20 others wounded in a fierce firefight Thursday near a mosque in northwest Baghdad.
Journalists report widespread looting in the city, and several Iraqi government buildings are reported to be on fire. Looted buildings include the Germany embassy and the French Cultural Center. Iraqis have told journalists the lack of any civil authority in the city is causing chaos.
A U.S. Central Command spokesman (Major General Victor Renuart) said today (Thursday) U-S forces do not know the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein, his sons or other top Iraqi officials.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Kurdish fighters backed by U.S. special forces have seized Iraq's key northern oil city of Kirkuk.
Journalists in Kirkuk report hearing sporadic gunfire, but say Iraqi troops who were guarding the city appear to have fled.
The presence of Kurdish fighters has troubled Turkey, which fears that Kurds in northern Iraq might try to set up their own state with Kirkuk as its capital. But a White House spokesman says the United States has reassured Ankara that U.S. forces will take control of the city.
U.S. commanders also say American forces have attacked Iraqi forces in the western town of Al-Qaim. Iraq fired ballistic missiles on Israel from the area during the 1991 Gulf War.