Aljazeera's correspondent reported the soldiers opened random fire on civilians returning from a mosque after Friday prayers when their vehicle was hit by an explosive device.

Besides the two deaths, three others were wounded in the firing.

Elsewhere in Iraq, two US soldiers were lightly wounded in a bomb blast in Tikrit on Friday morning. Another was seriously hurt after his convoy came under attack in Khallis, 45km northwest of Baghdad.

Three occupation soldiers were also wounded on Thursday night south of Tikirt when a grenade was fired at their vehicle.

Deep differences

The string of violent incidents came amid an apparent stalemate in the Iraqi Governing Council over drawing up a temporary constitution for the country's transitional government.

Differences remained about the role of women, Islam and numerous points on the details of federalism.

In Kufa, near the holy Shia city of Najaf, radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr meanwhile threatened revolt if US-occupation administrator Paul Bremmer continued to oppose making Islam the main basis of the temporary constitution.

Radical call

"I call on all believers to remain prepared, to confront the occupation," he said."I will follow this path even at the risk of being killed or arrested," al-Sadr said.

The country's minority Kurds also took to the streets on the day pressing for their rights.

Demanding that their rights be enshrined in the interim constitution, many of them went on a hunger strike outside the main US military headquarters in Baghdad.

"Today a pen and a strike, tomorrow a Kalashnikov to kill those who would deny us our rights," said a banner strung up in front of makeshift camp.