Iraqi police say at least nine people have been killed and more than 40 others wounded in a suicide bombing outside a courthouse in Baghdad.
Medics and police say the mid-morning blast was triggered in a crowd waiting to enter the facility. Hours earlier, an Iraqi general was shot dead in the capital as he drove to work.
To the west, the U.S. military says coalition forces killed eight insurgents after coming under heavy fire in Ramadi. Iraqi medics and police in Ramadi say 13 people were killed in what they described as a U.S. airstrike.
In a separate development, the U.S. military says two American soldiers were killed Thursday by a roadside bomb in the capital.
In Washington, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he expects the United States to be able to reduce its troops levels in Iraq once the new government takes office.
Prime Minister-designate Nouri al-Maliki has until May 21 to submit a cabinet to the Iraqi parliament for approval.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.