Iraq clashes, attacks kill at least 18, including US soldier
Clashes across Iraq have left 18 people dead, including a Marine and an ABC cameraman killed in fierce fighting between American troops and resistance armed with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.
U.S. soldiers and Iraqi fighters armed with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades battled for hours in the alleyways of Fallujah on Friday, killing a Marine and at least five Iraqis, including an ABC News cameraman. At least seven Marines were wounded.
Near Tikrit on Friday, four members of the U.S.-trained Iraqi Civil Defense Corps and three Iraqi fighters died during a raid by Iraqi security forces and American forces, the U.S. military said, according to The AP. Twenty-one Iraqi fighters were captured in the raid north of Baghdad.
Altogether, the fighting and the raid killed 13 people.
Footage from Associated Press Television News showed American troops in Fallujah carrying a comrade in a stretcher shortly after a blast during combat. The U.S. military in Baghdad said one Marine died and several were injured in the clashes.
This week, U.S. Marines took over authority in Fallujah and surrounding areas from the Army's 82nd Airborne Division.
Witnesses said heavy gunfire and blasts erupted when Marines moved into the center of the city.
Reporters saw two resistance fighters in civilian clothes firing a mortar, and another preparing to fire a rocket-propelled grenade.
In the town of Shwan, near the northern city of Kirkuk, four persons en route to a wedding died when the vehicles they were riding in struck an anti-tank mine. The blast injured 12 other people, police said Friday.
Gunmen shot and killed an Iraqi police officer late Friday while he was walking home in Kirkuk, Fhadila Rashid, an official at the city's morgue, said Saturday, according to The AP.
Also Friday, Time magazine said Omar Hashim Kamal, an Iraqi translator who worked in its Baghdad bureau, died of injuries sustained Wednesday. Kamal was shot by unidentified assailants.
In another incident, a roadside bomb went off in central Baghdad on Saturday morning, badly damaging a vehicle and wounding at least five Iraqi passengers, witnesses told Reuters. Gunfire erupted immediately after the explosion.
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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