Iraqi officials say a woman suicide attacker whose bomb detonated in a crowded area of central Baghdad killed at least three people Sunday.
The U.S. military says Iraqi soldiers at first thought the woman was a beggar, but challenged her when they saw she was wearing something bulky. The Iraqis fired three times when they saw the woman was holding wires in her hand, and she staggered into a nearby shop where her explosives detonated.
U.S. officials say the Iraqi troops' action averted possible mass casualties. Police and Iraqi medical officials say three or more people died, although U.S. troops say they do not know of anyone other than the bomber who was killed. Conflicting reports indicate up to 10 people may have been wounded by the blast.
The incident in central Baghdad's Karrada district was the latest in a series of suicide bombings by women, all blamed on the al-Qaida in Iraq group.
In other violence Sunday, a car bomb killed an Iraqi policeman and two civilians in the northern city of Mosul, and the U.S. military says gunmen killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded a third in the northeastern province of Diyala.
Also, the U.S. military says coalition forces have killed four suspected insurgents in operations across Iraq - one in northern Iraq, two in central Iraq and one south of Baghdad - since Saturday.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.