In Baghdad, five people were killed and 15 wounded in a car-bomb attack in the capital's al-Jihad neighbourhood, a security official with the defence ministry said.

Fighter sentenced

In another development on Tuesday, an Iraqi court sentenced to death by hanging a suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq fighter for the 2006 killing of three US soldiers south of Baghdad.

The three soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division were ambushed June 16, 2006, while at an isolated checkpoint near the Euphrates river.

Ibrahim al-Qaraghuli was one of three suspected fighters who have gone on trial for the killings.

The other two - Walid al-Kartani and Kazim al-Zubaie -were found not guilty for lack of sufficient evidence, but it was not immediately clear whether they would be released from custody.

All three men are Iraqis and have been in custody for at least a year.

Tuesday's court hearing was held in the Law and Order Complex that was built last year in eastern Baghdad.

Al-Qaraghuli, who wore a prison jumpsuit, lowered his head but remained silent when he heard the verdict read by chief judge, Munther Raouf Haadi.