A journalist from Falluja, Abu Bakr al-Dulaimi, told Aljazeera on Friday that four Iraqi women were among the wounded when US warplanes bombed a milk factory in the town west of Baghdad in an overnight raid.

US warplanes have bombed the mainly Sunni town almost daily over the past week. Eight people - including women and children - were killed after US forces clashed with resistance fighters last Saturday.

Elsewhere, the Interior Ministry said on Friday that 13 Iraqis were killed and 107 others wounded in the past 24 hours after US forces stormed the mainly Shia suburb of Sadr City in Baghdad on Thursday, calling on al-Mahdi Army fighters to surrender.

US soldiers killed

In other developments, two US soldiers were killed and another three wounded on Friday when their patrol was attacked near the restive Sunni Muslim bastion of Samarra, north of Baghdad, a US military spokesman said.

"The US patrol was attacked by an improvised explosive device at 5.55 pm (1355 GMT) near Samarra killing one soldier instantly, while the other succumbed to wounds later," the spokesman said.

The oil industry has again been
targeted by Iraqi fighters

He added the other three wounded were in stable condition.

Earlier on Friday, military sources announced that two US marines were killed in the previous 48 hours in Iraq's Anbar province.

According to the latest figures, 957 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion. About 37,000 Iraqis are reported to have been killed in the same period.

Pipelines targeted

The fighting has disrupted Iraq's oil exports and unnerved world oil markets. Crude oil futures prices touched a record $48.88 for a barrel of US light crude on Friday.

Al-Sadr aides have told Aljazeera al-Mahdi Army fighters would attack oil infrastructure targets if US-led forces continued assaults in Najaf.

A pipeline linking the main northern oilfields of Kirkuk to the Baiji refinery was damaged when a makeshift bomb exploded early on Friday, hampering oil distribution.

On Thursday, the headquarters of the Southern Oil Company in the port city of Basra was torched.