The blasts on Wednesday night came at the end of one of the worst days for the occupation forces in Iraq.

Nine Iraqi civilians and 17 Italian military police were killed when two vehicles packed with explosives crashed into the headquarters of the Italian military police in al-Nasiriya.

In Baghdad eyewitnesses told Aljazeera correspondents that more than ten rockets were fired in the Al-Doura district of Baghdad on Wednesday night. They said gunfire followed the blasts

It is believed that two resistance fighters were killed and three wounded following a US-led 'military operation' aimed at rooting out individuals responsible for an increase in attacks against US occupation soldiers.

At least five people have been arrested by the army during the operation.

The US military has said a 'military operation' was being carried out against 'known guerillas' who they claim are responsible for attacks against US troops.

The spokesperson confirmed that the 'operation' was being carried out against a ''known facility used as a meeting, planning point for guerillas. Its destruction will deny enemy forces use of it in the future''.

Sniper attack 

Elsewhere in Iraq, a number of Ukrainian soldiers were wounded when their convoy came under an unidentified sniper attack in al-Aziziyah city in Wasit province. Ukrainian soldiersd opened fire on the source of the attack, but no casualties have been reported.

Anti-American forces in Iraq have increased the level of attacks against occupation soldiers in the country.

More than 155 soldiers, mostly from the US have been killed since President Bush declared that major combat operations in Iraq were over on 1 May.

There is no accurate record of the number of Iraqi civilians killed during and after the US-led invasion of the country.