In Iraq, the U.S. military says eight U.S. Marines were killed and nine wounded on Saturday. Also, seven people were killed and at least 16 wounded when a car bomb exploded outside the office of the Arabic television channel, al-Arabiyah, in Baghdad.
A U.S. military statement says the Marines were killed and wounded in the Anbar province, west of Baghdad. The area includes the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, where a major US offensive is being prepared.
U.S. forces have stepped up air and ground attacks on insurgent positions in and around Fallujah.
In Baghdad a few hours earlier, a powerful car bomb exploded outside the office of the Arabic satellite TV channel al-Arabiya, killing several staff members.
The front of the building was destroyed, as well as dozens of cars along the street. According to al-Arabiya staff, the station has received threats in recent weeks.
An unknown Islamist group took credit for the bombing in an Internet statement, saying it had had attacked what it called, "Americanized spies speaking in the Arabic tongue." The Saudi-owned satellite channel has often been criticized for its perceived pro-Western stance.
Also on Saturday, civilian vehicles came under fire and at least a dozen people were reported killed in the central town of Haswa. There were conflicting accounts of the incident, and it was unclear whether the vehicles were caught in crossfire, or came under fire from Iraqi police and National Guards.