Three civilians and a soldier were killed in a shootout between armed men and a joint US-Iraqi military patrol in the central city of Samarra, which was recaptured from fighters in a US-backed offensive late last year, police said.

A civilian was killed and two others wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their car just north of Samarra, an Iraqi army officer said.

A Kurdish interpeter working for the US military was shot dead when armed men fired at his car in the northern oil centre of Kirkuk, police said.

Another person in the vehicle was seriously wounded, they added.

And a driver working for the US-financed television station al-Hurra was shot and killed in front of his home in a south Baghdad neighbourhood, a Defence Ministry source reported. The armed men fled on foot.