The U.S. military has carried out air strikes in western Iraq against what it describes as three terrorist safe houses.

A U.S statement says a known terrorist, Abu Islam, and several of his associates were killed during the raids Tuesday in two towns, Husaybah and Karabilah, near the Syrian border.

Earlier, Arabic television station Aljazeera reported at least 40 people were killed in the air strikes.

Elsewhere in Iraq, police said insurgents killed two top security officials in separate attacks in Baghdad and the northern oil town of Kirkuk.

On political front, Iraq's Vice President Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawar says he believes Sunni Arabs will not be able to defeat the country's draft constitution in a national referendum set for October 15.

He says the minority community should instead focus on December's parliamentary elections and try to win enough seats to be able to change the way the constitution is implemented.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.