An apparent car bomb exploded Tuesday near a hotel in central Baghdad (search), and a U.S. military officer said five Iraqis were injured, one critically. Iraqi police said they thought the target may have been the Australian Embassy (search) nearby.

The blast occurred about yards from the Karma Hotel (search), where foreign journalists and U.N. weapons inspectors used to stay before the war that ousted Saddam Hussein.

Col. Mike Murray said five Iraqis were injured, including a 10-year-old boy who was critically hurt.

The explosion occurred in the Jadiriyah district about 100 yards from the Australian embassy. Iraqi police speculated the embassy may have been the target and the car detonated prematurely.