Hospital officials told Aljazeera that five civilians were killed and six injured when US fighter jets bombed a home in the al-Askari district of Falluja. 

"It started at 1130 (0830 GMT). The operation was defensive in nature and not offensive as our marines were being targeted and shot by small arms and RPGs," said Lieutenant Colonel T.V. Johnson.

"We gave air support and carried out six different sorties during the day. Right now, it has stopped. We do it as and when needed," he added

Two civilians were also killed in clashes between Iraqi resistance fighters and a US patrol west of Falluja.

Aljazeera sources in Iraq also reported that a US Chinook helicopter crashed in the Amariya district of Falluja, but a US military official denied any US helicopters had been lost on Sunday.

Military fatalities

A US soldier was killed in Baghdad when his patrol was hit by a roadside bomb, also known as an improvised detonation device (IED). No further details were given by US military sources.

A Dutch soldier was killed and five others wounded in an attack by unknown forces in the western sector of the country, the Dutch Defence Ministry said.

It said a Dutch army vehicle near al-Rumaythah close to the Dutch base in Samawa had come under attack.

This is the second time a Dutch soldier has died in Iraq. The Netherlands has about 1300 troops stationed in southern Iraq under British command.

In the governorate of Wasit, a Ukrainian soldier was killed when he stepped on a landmine.

"This morning, as our soldiers were drawing water, a mine exploded. A captain died from his wounds after the explosion," said a Ukrainian defence ministry spokesman.

The Ukrainian contingent in Iraq comprises 1600 troops.