Loud Blasts Rock Central Baghdad

Loud explosions boomed through central Baghdad early Friday, and sirens wailed in the compound housing the headquarters of the U.S.-led coalition.

Smoke rose inside the compound, known as the "Green Zone." (search)

A spokeswoman for the coalition, speaking on condition of anonymity, said officials were aware of explosions but did not know the location.

A coalition spokesman said he heard three explosions.

Insurgents last month fired mortars into the "Green Zone," a two-square-mile area that encompasses several buildings. If Friday's explosions also occurred inside, it would be the first time in several weeks that the seat of coalition power was hit.

The zone includes the Al Rasheed Hotel (search), used by military and coalition civilian employees until a rocket attack Oct. 26 that killed a U.S. colonel and wounded 18 other people. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz (search) was in the hotel at the time, but escaped injury.