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Iraq: Rocket Attacks Shake Baghdad

Baghdad, 25 December 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Insurgents in Iraq carried out a series of rocket attacks in central Baghdad early today. The attacks injured an Iraqi woman sleeping in her apartment and smashed windows at the Ishtar Sheraton Hotel, which had been hit by a mortar shell just a few hours earlier. No one was injured in either attack at the hotel, which is used by Western contractors and journalists.

Attackers also fired rockets near the Baghdad Hotel. The United States says the base of the 1st Armored Division in eastern Baghdad was also targeted.

This morning's attacks followed a string of separate bombings yesterday that killed six civilians and three U.S. soldiers. The U.S. military announced today that a fourth American soldier was killed yesterday by a bomb in central Baghdad.

The United States, meanwhile, says it has continued to round up guerrilla suspects and attacked suspected insurgent hideouts in southwest Baghdad.

A total of 206 U.S. soldiers and 37 coalition troops have been killed by hostile fire since Washington announced the end of major combat in Iraq on 1 May.