A car bomb exploded outside a hotel in central Baghdad, killing at least three people and wounding several others.
The al-Shaheen hotel stands on a street that runs along the Tigris River in the upscale Kharada neighborhood of the capital. It was considered a quiet area.
But, early Wednesday a car bomb exploded outside the hotel, ripping off much of the front of the building. Windows were blown out and mattresses, bedding, and clothing hung out of the gaping holes that remained.
Outside, burned cars and twisted metal lay strewn about and shattered glass littered the street as far as a block away. At least two other buildings in the area were damaged.
The injured were taken to local hospitals, many with burns and shrapnel wounds.
The hotel housed both foreigners and Iraqis, including the interim labor minister, Sami Izara al-Majoun.
Several of Baghdad's major hotels have been targeted by insurgents using car bombs or rockets.
The Shaheen hotel bombing followed another bloody day for U.S. troops. Six American soldiers were killed in two separate attacks on Tuesday.
Both incidents involved roadside bombs aimed at the Americans. One attack took place near Iskandariya, south of Baghdad, the other in the town of Khaldiya, to the west.
Also Tuesday, the U.S.-based television network CNN reported that two of its employees were killed and a third was injured in an ambush outside Baghdad. A driver and a producer, both Iraqis, were shot dead when gunmen opened fire on their convoy south of the capital. An Iraqi CNN driver and a producer were shot dead when gunmen opened fire on their convoy, south of the capital.