U.S. marines killed 25 Iraqi resistance fighters, wounded 17 and captured 25 during several hours of clashes in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi Wednesday, a military statement said Thursday.
It added 13 U.S. marines and one soldier were injured in the fightings but none of the wounds were life-threatening.
The US Army said the exchanges of fire started in the afternoon when resistance fighters activated a roadside bomb near a marine convoy and then opened fire with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. The fire fights spread with some 100 Iraqi fighters involved, the statement, quoted by Reuters added.
Elsewhere, Iraqi fighters clashed with American occupation forces in downtown Baghdad early Thursday. At least two Iraqis were wounded, officials said, according to The AP.
The fighting took place around 4 a.m. on Haifa Street. One police officer and another man suffered gunshot wounds.
American soldiers in armored vehicles and a U.S. sniper on a rooftop were seen on the street after the clashes. U.S. Army spokesman Master Sgt. David Larsen confirmed that military operations involving US soldiers were "ongoing" on Haifa Street.
Interior Ministry official Sabah Khadum said Iraqi police and intelligence forces arrested 200 people, including several "non-Iraqi Arabs," during the Haifa Street operation and discovered a huge cache of weapons.
In other incidents, assailants attacked a police patrol and a cultural center in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, injuring two people, security officials said Thursday.
Capt. Salam Zangana, of the Kirkuk police, told The Associated Press that unknown attackers opened fire on a police patrol in Kirkuk early Thursday, seriously wounding one lieutenant. They escaped.
In the other attack, Aslan Mohammed Rashim, a cultural center official in Kirkuk, was shot by an unknown assailant Wednesday night, said Maj. Gen. Amer Mohammed Amin of the Iraqi National Guard. Rashim, an ethnic Turkoman, was walking to his car after leaving his office in this city when the attack occurred, Amin said. He was in stable condition.
Later on Thursday, a headless body of a man was found in the Tigris river in northern Iraq, an Iraqi police chief said. The body was in a plastic bag in the town of Al-Zuwiya, about 240 kilometers north of Baghdad, said Colonel Ismail al-Jubburi.
He said local police contacted the crimes section in Tikrit, the capital of Salahuldine Province, after finding the body early in the day.
Thursday's finding followed the retrieval by police from the same river on July 14 of a headless corpse wearing an orange outfit, which was handed to the US army.
Jubburi said police were trying to identify the body, but "presume he is not Iraqi." (albawaba.com)
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