A total of 11 US soldiers were killed in the past 24 hours in Iraq, the US Army said Sunday.
In one incident, six U.S. service members were killed in a mortar attack Sunday in western Iraq, the U.S. military said. The attack took place in Anbar province, which includes cities as Fallujah and Ramadi in the Sunni Triangle.
Elsewhere, Shiite fighters attacked a U.S. convoy in southern Iraq, killing two troops and setting vehicles on fire. Two other American soldiers were killed in Baghdad.
The convoy attack came Saturday evening outside the city of Amarah, some 300 kilometers south of Baghdad, when fighters loyal to Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr opened fire with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades, a U.S. military official said.
A number of Humvees and trucks were in flames on the road outside the city hours later, witnesses said, according to The AP.
British forces battled members of al-Sadr's al-Mahdi Army for 12 hours in Amarah in fighting that lasted until early Sunday and left five Iraqis dead and eight British troops injured.
The clash started when the Shiites attacked a British patrol, injuring one soldier, said a British military spokesman. Five more soldiers were wounded as a team rescued the first man, said British Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Jonathan Arnold, a military spokesman.
In the evening, the fighting revived when Iraqi fighters fired mortar shells and rocket-propelled grenades at the British base in the city.
Two more British troops were injured. Witnesses said two British trucks were burned in the fighting. An Iraqi civilian working on the base was wounded by shrapnel from an exploding mortar shell, the British military conveyed.
Also in Najaf, Shiite fighters used mortars and grenades to hit U.S. forces overnight, witnesses said Sunday.
Two more American troops were killed before dawn Sunday in an attack in northwest Baghdad that also injured two Iraqi security officers and another American, the military said.
One U.S. soldier was killed Sunday and 10 were injured in a bombing and shooting attack on an occupation base near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, the U.S. military said.
Meanwhile, The Sunday Telegraph reported that thousands of additional British troops are to be dispatched to Iraq to take control of Najaf.
Up to 4,000 soldiers will start arriving in the next few weeks to cover the gap left by the 1,300 Spanish soldiers who were withdrawn from the country last week.
The newspaper said that Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, took the decision to send the additional forces to Iraq after meeting President George W. Bush at a White House summit two weeks ago. (Albawaba.com)
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