The U.S. military says a homicide bomber disguised as a policeman has attacked a police compound in northern Iraq, wounding an American soldier and three Iraqis.

Maj. Joe Scrocca, a military spokesman, says the bomber was trying to enter the compound Wednesday in the northern town of Zumar, northwest of the city of Mosul, when he was spotted by Iraqi police.

He says the police opened fire on the bomber just before he detonated his explosives belt.

The three Iraqis wounded are policemen.

The attack came just hours after an Al Qaeda front group claimed it carried out bombings against Baghdad hotels earlier this week, boasting its homicide bombers breached extensive Iraqi security.