The first attack just after midnight on Tuesday destroyed one of the biggest restaurants in central Falluja, leaving two night guards dead.

Nearby shops were also destroyed.
 
The second strike flattened a house in al-Askari neighbourhood, killing at least four members of an Iraqi family and injuring an unknown number.

An Iraqi journalist told Aljazeera that the family was one of the few remaining in Falluja. Many have already fled the city because of continued US air strikes.

The US military said it was targeting a gathering of supporters of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. 

The journalist rejected the claim that al-Zarqawi used to eat at the targeted restaurant and visit the now-dead Iraqi family.

Earlier, US troops fired on a car on the main highway between Falluja and Ramadi, killing f
ive members of the same family travelling in the vehicle.

The dead included a woman and child.

Also on Tuesday, a blast occurred near the US consulate in the southern city of Basra, wounding at least one Iraqi.

The explosion targeted a foreign company specialising in protecting oil pipelines, Aljazeera has learned.  

UN security

A 155-strong Fiji military contingent will leave for Iraq on Wednesday where it will provide security for the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, military spokesman Captain Neumi Leweni said.

A car blast destroyed the UN
headquarters in Baghdad in 2003

He said the unit is expected to take up duties within a week of arriving.

The UN closed its Baghdad headquarters after a car bomb in August last year killed 22 people, including mission head Sergio Vieira de Mello.

Earlier this year a smaller UN team returned to Iraq.

Meanwhile, a former Fiji soldier working as a security guard was fighting for his life after being wounded in a bomb blast near Mosul.

The guard, Apenisa Tikoilodoni, was working for Global Risk  Securities and was travelling to Fiji national day celebrations when hurt.

Company spokesman Sakiusa Raivoce said the guard's condition was serious.

Nearly 500 former Fiji soldiers are believed to be working in Iraq for private security organisations.