Insurgent attacks in Iraq killed six US soldiers Tuesday as a UN security team arrived in Baghdad to assess the situation for the possible return of international staff.
US military officials say three troops were killed late in the day by a roadside bomb outside the capital. Earlier, three other US soldiers died when their convoy was hit by a large explosion in Khaldiya.
In Baghdad Tuesday, streets were shut down as military explosive experts defused a car bomb near the so-called green zone of US military and civilian offices.
Outside the capital, US based television network CNN says two of its employees were killed in an ambush. A third was injured slightly.
The violence came as a second UN security team arrived in the Iraqi capital to determine if Iraq's Provisional Authority can guarantee the safety of UN electoral experts. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced Tuesday his plans to send such a team to Iraq to explore the best way to choose a transitional government.
Mr. Annan said he hopes the United Nations can play a constructive role in Iraq, initially by studying whether elections are feasible before a scheduled June 30th transfer of sovereignty.
A top Shi'ite Muslim cleric and other Iraqi leaders have rejected the US plan for indirect selection of an interim government, and are calling instead for direct elections.