Iraqi officials say three car bomb explosions in Baghdad have left at least 43 people dead and more than 90 wounded.
Saturday's blasts rocked a busy shopping district in central Baghdad that is popular with Shi'ites. About a dozen cars also were destroyed.
Authorities say at least 15 people died in other violence today in Iraq, including an Interior Ministry official killed by gunmen in the capital. Police also reported finding 44 bullet-riddled bodies in Baghdad, all apparently victims of sectarian violence.
The U.S. military says Iraqi troops supported by American forces detained 12 terrorist suspects Friday in Narwahan. A separate statement says a U.S. soldier died Friday of wounds sustained in combat action in al Anbar province.
Meanwhile, a senior Iraqi Shi'ite leader expected to meet with President Bush in Washington Monday has rejected a United Nations suggestion to hold an international conference on Iraq.
Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, who heads the powerful Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, said discussing Iraqi issues at an international conference is unreasonable and incorrect. He said a solution to the conflict in Iraq must come from within.
The White House says President Bush also plans to meet in January with Iraq's Sunni vice president, Tareq al-Hashemi.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.