A doctor at Falluja general hospital, Ahmad Ali, said early on Wednesday the toll from the attacks on Falluja could rise.

By the afternoon, Falluja residents reported that 15 civilian homes had been destroyed in the eastern section of the city as a result of US tank fire. 

The attacks in war-ravaged city 65km west of Baghdad sent large plumes of smoke high into the air, witnesses said.

US forces have launched several air strikes in recent months on buildings in Falluja it said were being used by fighters linked to al-Qaida ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

US warplanes strafed targets at least 15 times on the city's eastern outskirts and explosions could be heard for over two hours.

Fighters across the city fired anti-aircraft guns as US aircraft approached, witnesses said.

Weapons store

Earlier, several Iraqis were wounded when a US air strike targeted the industrial quarter and other areas southwest of the city.

Fighters have fired back with
anti-aircraft guns 

A US statement said the aerial bombing targeted a weapons store used by foreign fighters.

Also in Falluja, US soldiers were wounded when an explosive device detonated near a US patrol, Aljazeera has learned.

US forces also said one American solder was killed in a traffic accident near Falluja. 

It was the second day in a row that US warplanes had attacked Falluja.
 
US-led forces have routinely bombed the city, saying it is targeting fighters' safehouses or strongholds.