Three American soldiers have been killed by mortar fire at a military base in Iraq. 

Seven other soldiers were wounded in the attack by insurgents near the city of Ramadi, west of Baghdad. 

The US military said the insurgents fled to a nearby mosque after firing several mortar rounds, but Iraqi forces who searched the area failed to find them.

Meanwhile, Iraqi and US forces are searching for people kidnapped by rebels in central Iraqi town of Al-Madain.

Soldiers raided the town 50km southeast of Baghdad yesterday in an effort to regain control. 

Sunni rebels took Shi'ite residents hostage in the central Iraqi town and threatened to kill them within 24 hours unless Shi'ites leave town.