3 U.S. Marines Dead, 22 Wounded by Iraqi Suicide Bomber

3 US marines died and 22 were wounded when an Iraqi suicide bomber blew himself up in central Baghdad on Thursday evening, Olga Rodriguez of Spain's most popular radio channel Cadena Ser cited the US military as saying.

The mighty explosion went off in front of the Hotel Palestine, which accommodates about 200 reporters from different countries. The suicide bomber had stepped out of a taxi at a checkpoint crowded with US soldiers and set off his bomb.

The Spanish reporter said there were clashes and sounds of salvoes and bursts of gunfire in the south and north of the Iraqi capital. The streets were littered with corpses of men and women, she said.

Rodriguez reported also that the US military had advised reporters to stay in the hotel because they could not guarantee their safety in a city where "liberated pillagers exulted in robbing stores and public institutions," as she put it. She added that Baghdad was in chaos as the population grew increasingly critical of the US troops, who were unable to establish law and order.

The reporter said that the US officer who had recommended her to stay indoors had said, "I don't like Bush, but I obey orders."