Hospital officials said a woman and child were among those wounded in the strikes which began on Monday night on the Jamaiya and al-Sinai districts on the eastern edges of the town, which lies about 170km west of Baghdad.

Aljazeera has learned that houses, shops and vehicles belonging to civilians have been destroyed in the bombing that continued until Tuesday morning.

US marines based in the area had no immediate comment.

Hiyt is situated in the tense Anbar province, which includes Falluja, where US-led forces launched a major offensive last month to target anti-American fighters.

US troops wounded
 
A roadside bombing in northern Iraq has wounded five US soldiers and an Iraqi civilian, the US military said on Tuesday.

A suspected bomber has been
detained by US forces

The bombing near Hawija, west of the northern oil city of Kirkuk, occurred at 11.15am (0815 GMT) on Monday, the military said in a statement.

The six were travelling in a vehicle that was hit by the bomb.

They were listed in stable condition. One suspected bomber was detained, the statement added.

Meanwhile, four suspected anti-US fighters were arrested in Awja, the hometown of ousted president Saddam Hussein, just south of Tikrit on Monday night, the military said. 
 
Scientist killed

Also on Tuesday, unknown armed men shot dead an Iraqi nuclear scientist north of Baghdad, witnesses said.

Talib Ibrahim al-Dahir was on his way to work at Diyala University when attackers opened fire on his car as it was crossing a bridge in Baquba, 57km northeast of Baghdad.

The vehicle swerved off the bridge and fell into the Khrisan river, witnesses said.

Al-Dahir, who was a professor at the local university, was removed from the submerged car and rushed to Baquba hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Pipeline ablaze

An explosion caused the pipeline
to burst into flames

Meanwhile, a grid of intersecting export and domestic oil pipelines in northern Iraq was on fire on Tuesday, belching black smoke and shooting out bright red flames.

The major pipeline hub southwest of Kirkuk with arteries to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan as well as to domestic depots and refineries, was set ablaze at 10.25pm, an Iraqi oil security official said.

It was not clear which routes were affected by the blast, nor what was the origin of the fire, he said.

The section near Fatha was already hit by a sabotage attack last weekend, virtually eliminating its flow.