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The insurgents fired three mortar rounds shortly before midnight, hitting the vicinity of the U.S.-led administration headquarters in central Baghdad, repeating an attack on the area launched earlier in the day.

There was no immediate word on casualties or damage.  Warning sirens sounded in the huge complex -- once one of the palaces of captured Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein

Guerrillas also directed their rage at a U.S. military camp in the town of Baquba, 40 miles north of the capital. They lobbed two mortar bombs into it after nightfall and wounded eight soldiers, two seriously, a U.S. officer said.

COMPLETELY USELESS DANGEROUS WASTE OF TIME:

A U.S. soldier from the 1st Infantry Division guards a fortified Baghdad compound containing the Palestine and Ishtar Sheraton (R) hotels December (Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters)

The guerrilla onslaught in Baghdad was the widest in scale since the December 13 capture of Saddam Hussein,

The U.S. military said an American soldier had been killed by a roadside bomb in the capital on Wednesday, raising the death toll to four in attacks that day.

Guerrillas fired rockets that hit the outside wall of the Iranian embassy, the Turkish embassy and a residential building next to the German embassy.

The rockets blew a hole in the front wall of the Turkish mission and shattered windows but the other blasts caused little damage, witnesses said.

Two hotels used by Westerners and an Iraqi apartment block nearby were also targeted.

The bombings added to the gloom surrounding Christmas celebrations. Baghdad churches did not hold traditional midnight mass because of lack of security, clerics said.

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