A spate of Christmas Eve attacks has rocked Baghdad and northern Iraq, killing three American soldiers and at least five Iraqis.
US military officials say three American soldiers were killed in Samarra, north of Baghdad, when the vehicle they were traveling in struck an explosive device in the road.
In a separate incident, a blast rocked Baghdad's Sheraton hotel, which houses many Westerners.
Initial reports say the explosion was probably caused by a rocket-propelled grenade, which missed the hotel. Witnesses reported hearing gunfire after the blast. No casualties or damage has been reported.
Also in Baghdad, a civilian bus blew up after running over an explosive device in a tunnel. At least one person was killed and two injured.
Meanwhile, in the northern Kurdish city of Arbil, a car packed with explosives detonated just outside the Interior Ministry headquarters. Two police guards and two bystanders were killed, and dozens were injured. The bomber also died in the blast, which damaged the building and nearby cars.
Also today, Wednesday, US military aircraft and artillery struck suspected guerrilla hideouts in southwestern Baghdad before dawn. The anti-insurgent operation has been dubbed Operation Iron Grip.
Tuesday, coalition forces detained dozens of suspected insurgents in a series of raids targeting former members of the Iraqi regime. Troops captured two former Iraqi generals and a special forces colonel near the volatile town of Fallujah.