U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday urged Iraqi leaders to form a government "without delay" to end the political deadlock in Baghdad following March parliamentary elections.
Mr. Obama made the comment in a meeting with U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill and the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, at the White House.
President Obama also voiced concern about a rocket attack on Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone that killed three people and wounded 15 others.
The U.S. embassy in Iraq said those killed in the attack included two Ugandans and a Peruvian, working for an American security contractor.
The Green Zone is home to Iraqi government buildings as well as the U.S. embassy.
In other violence Thursday, gunmen killed at least two people, including a Sunni cleric, in separate attacks in the northern city of Mosul.
Meanwhile, Iraq's justice minister, Dara Noureddin, said four men awaiting trial on terrorism charges escaped from a Baghdad prison that the U.S. handed over to Iraqi control last week.
Authorities say the men were discovered missing Tuesday along with a prison official.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.