Dr Khamis al-Saad, general director of Ramadi hospital, told Aljazeera that 11 people, including a woman and children, were killed and another 18 wounded under US fire on Monday. 

 

Ambulances and medical teams were targeted by US snipers in different areas of Ramadi, particularly near hospitals for women and children, al-Saad said. 

 

Two ambulance drivers and members of medical teams on board the vehicles were also killed, he said.  

 

Targeted 

 

Medical staff and patients inside the hospitals were targeted and a number of them were shot in the head, the general director said. 

 

US air strikes have flattened
Falluja neighbourhoods

"Situation in general is unstable and deteriorating so I call on the government and NGOs to intervene as clashes are occurring every day," al-Saad said. 

 

"Our medical institutions are receiving casualties but medical supplies are not enough," he said.  

Earlier in the day, US forces launched air strikes on Falluja, killing up to 18 people, including women, children and an ambulance driver.

Up to 29 others were injured in the strikes which began at 0100 GMT on different parts of the city, just west of Baghdad.

Missile

Seven people, including the driver of an ambulance, were killed when US aircraft fired a missile at the vehicle while it was transporting casualties near the northern gate of the city.

"Every time we send out an ambulance, it gets targeted," Dr Rafia al-Isawi, director of Falluja hospital, told Aljazeera.

"Shame on our government that cannot protect the people"

Rafia al-Isawi,
director, Falluja hospital

"How are we going to transfer casualties? This is unreasonable. The US army has no ethics.

"Shame on our government that cannot protect the people," he added.

Three homes were destroyed in al-Shurta neighbourhood, according to the doctor. "Women and men have died," he said.

Witnesses said US warplanes swooped low over the city and some of the shelling appeared to be coming from American artillery units deployed on Falluja's outskirts. 

Market place blast

One explosion went off in a market place as the first stall owners had just begun to set up, wounding several people and shattering windows, witnesses said.

A Falluja doctor says ambulances
are routinely targeted

Others saw black columns of smoke rising over Falluja and said hundreds of families had begun leaving the town which is largely under the control of those fighting US forces and the American-backed interim Iraqi government. 
 
An Iraqi journalist told Aljazeera that fierce clashes had also erupted near the city's northern gate.

Several US army tanks have been stationed at the gate. The southern gate of the town has been closed.

Rising toll

The journalist said casualty figures were expected to rise as the clashes showed no sign of abating.

US tanks were also bombing homes in al-Jughaivi neighbourhood near the northern gate.

US tanks are stationed outside
Falluja's northern gate

The latest attacks follow a day of fierce clashes between Iraqi armed fighters and US troops across the country.

Elsewhere, one person was killed and three others wounded in a US helicopter strike on a Baghdad commercial district, not far from the scene of heavy fighting between US troops and armed fighters a day earlier, witnesses said.

A US helicopter fired a missile on the area early on Monday afternoon, destroying a boarded-up clothes shop, said Ahmad Karim, who was wounded in the neck.

A dead man was sprawled in the street, his stomach ripped to shreds by shrapnel, while a child was wounded in the leg and an Egyptian worker hit in the face.

Earlier, US troops patrolled nearby Haifa Street, where up to 40 people were killed and scores more wounded in clashes between armed fighters and US soldiers the day before.

On Sunday, at least 110 people were killed in various parts of the country in an escalation of gun battles, car bombs and bombardments.