Gunfire rattled the streets near the Palestine Hotel (searchbefore dawn Tuesday, sending police rushing to the scene. The cause was unclear and it was not known if anyone was hurt.

About a dozen police rushed to the scene about 2 a.m. and began firing into two nearby buildings. It was unclear what they were shooting at, and they left shortly afterward.

The hotel sits near the Baghdad Hotel (search), where a suicide car bomber killed six people and wounded dozens other two days ago.

Iraqi police and U.S. soldiers have been struggling to maintain order in Iraq, where gun ownership is rife and security problems persist.