ARBIL, Dec 24: Three US soldiers were killed north of Baghdad on Wednesday, and a suicide blast killed five people in the city of Arbil, while American troops launched a morning offensive in the capital to hunt guerillas.

The three soldiers, all from Task Force Iron Horse, died in a roadside bombing near the restive city of Samarra on Wednesday, a US military spokesman said.

Further north, five people, including a suicide bomber, were killed and another 15 wounded when a pick-up truck packed with explosives blew up outside interior ministry offices in Arbil, the ministry said.

Two policemen and two civilians were among the dead.—AFP

Updated Dec 25, 2003 12:00am

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