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Two blasts went off outside the mayor's office. A US convoy thought to be trying to reach the scene was also hit.
There are also reports that militants attacked three police stations, killing and wounding a number of policemen.
Samarra has been cited by the Iraqi government as an example of how they have been able to restore order to areas formerly controlled by rebels.
US and Iraqi forces seized control of the Sunni Muslim city in early October.
The BBC's Claire Marshall in Baghdad says that on the eve of an attack on Falluja, events in Samarra seem to demonstrate that it takes more than a large scale military assault to bring a town fully under control.
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