The U.S. military in Iraq says a suicide bomber has killed 15 people and wounded 15 others in an attack on a police recruitment center in Baghdad.
A military statement says an insurgent wearing an explosive vest blew himself up Thursday, and that three police officers and 12 recruits were killed in the blast.
Meanwhile, on the second day of his visit to Baghdad, the new U.S. defense secretary, Robert Gates, expressed "steadfast" U.S. support for the Iraqi government. Gates has been meeting with U.S. military commanders and Iraqi officials.
He told reporters he discussed ways for the U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi government to work together on improving the political, military and economic situation.
Gates met earlier Thursday with a group of American soldiers. Some of them expressed support for more U.S. ground troops to be sent to Iraq, to improve security and allow for more time to train the Iraqi army.
Separately, the U.S. military announced that two U.S. soldiers and one Marine were killed in attacks in Anbar province and south of Baghdad in the past two days.
Another military statement issued Thursday said coalition forces killed seven insurgents during an operation in the volatile Baquba region earlier this week.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.