Three civilians died and three were wounded when a US patrol was attacked west of Baghdad early today.
The fighting came hours after a van carrying police recruits was attacked south of Baghdad, killing nine, while gunmen killed two policemen in the north.
Television footage of the aftermath of today’s battle in the town of Fallujah, about 32 miles west of Baghdad, showed two civilian cars burned, blood stains on the ground and bullet holes in walls, as well as two wounded Iraqis being taken into a hospital.
“American troops came under attack while they were patrolling in the main street,” Fallujah resident Ahmed Ali said.
US officials in Baghdad said they had no information on the attack. Muthana al-Jumeili, a doctor at Fallujah General Hospital, said three civilians had died and three were wounded.
Before dawn today, attackers fired a rocket that struck the Sheraton Hotel in Baghdad, where foreign contractors and journalists stay. The rocket hit a sixth-floor ledge and the explosion left the lobby strewn with glass, said security guard Rabah Nasser.
US officials said there were no casualties. American soldiers protect the Sheraton, which is ringed by a concrete blast wall to ward off bombing attempts.