The Iraqi security guards were killed late on Thursday apparently in cross-fire during clashes between resistance fighters and occupation US soldiers at Falluja’s Commissioner headquarters.

Our correspondent reported that the fighters arrived in a car, and attacked a number of guards in front of the Commissioner Headquarters in Falluja, late on Thursday at 12.00am (GMT 9.00pm).

Chase

The security guards along with Iraqi policemen chased the attackers in an attempt to capture them. At this point US forces, based in Saddamiyat Falluja area, arrived on the scene and opened fire. Eight guards were killed and a few others injured, our correspondent said.

It was one of the bloodiest of friendly fire incidents in Iraq.

The Jordanian hospital in the vicinity was also damaged in the cross-fire.  The hospital was later closed to the public.

US forces surrounded a house in al-Ta'meem, Ramadi in the belief it contained armed resistance fighters. Two of the suspects were gunned down and the third was injured and arrested.

The US soldiers also suffered casualties, according to Aljazeera's correspondent Jawad al-Umari. Two of them died and seven were wounded, confirmed a military spokeswoman in Iraq.

A number of other suspected resistance fighters were arrested nearby when US forces surrounded another house. No one was injured  in the latter incident.

RPG attack

In Abu Ghuraib, resistance fighters carried out two attacks which killed a number of US soldiers and injured several others early on Friday.

However, reports of American deaths were being denied on Friday afternoon by a US military spokeswoman based in Iraq.

She would only confirm that two soldiers had been injuried in the crossfire.

Our correspondent quoting eyewitnesses, said in one attack, the fighters fired a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) at a US Humvee vehicle in the al-Souq al-Sha’bi area at 4am (GMT 1am).  Several US soldiers were killed and others injured, the correspondent said.

Another US armoured vehicle came under RPG attack in front of the Faculty of Agriculture, damaging it, our correspondent said, adding that US casualties were not known yet.

There were two more resistance attacks. In Samara, an Iraqi police station came under mortar attack, our correspondent reported, quoting eyewitnesses. In Samara’s al-Qal area, eyewitnesses said they saw columns of smoke following another attack.

When approached by Aljazeera, US forces refused to comment on the attacks.

Nearly 70 US soldiers have been killed in resistance attacks since 1 May when US President George Bush declared combat operations over in Iraq.

Joint prayers

Meanwhile, in an attempt to prevent any division between Sunni and Shia, a group of Iraqis from both sects in Baghdad have organised to pray together to show they are united, our correspondent said. The move comes in the aftermath of the attack on a Sunni mosque in Baghdad last Friday.

In another development, US forces cordoned off al-Ubaidi area, 25km from al-Qaim city near the Syrian border, early on Friday, and arrested a number of Iraqi Ba’thists, eyewitnesses told our correspondent.