Iraqi police say at least 13 people were killed in separate attacks in Baghdad Thursday.
In the deadliest incident, nine people were killed and two others wounded when gunmen opened fire on a bakery in a religiously mixed district of eastern Baghdad. Four people, including two policemen, were killed in other attacks around the Iraqi capital.
Hundreds of people have been killed in sectarian violence and insurgent attacks in Baghdad in recent weeks as U.S. and Iraqi forces struggle to stem the bloodshed.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military says coalition forces killed nine suspected terrorists and detained nine others during a raid Thursday near the town of Yusufiyah, south of Baghdad.
The military also announced two American soldiers were killed in separate combat operations Tuesday and Wednesday in Baghdad and Diyala province.
President Bush has accused Iran and Syria of working to undermine Iraq's democracy.
In Washington, a top State Department official, David Satterfield, told a U.S. Senate Committee Wednesday the United States is ready "in principle" to begin talks with Iran about its activities in Iraq.
But U.S. officials have said talks with Iran can begin only after Tehran suspends its nuclear program.
U.S. congressional Democrats, who will control the Senate and House of Representatives in January, favor bilateral U.S.-Iran talks on both Iraq and Iran's nuclear program.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters