US jets continue to attack Falluja

US warplanes have launched air strikes in Falluja for the fourth straight day, attacking an area in the south-east of the city, killing at least one Iraqi, doctors and witnesses say.

    Civilian casualities have been high

    The Friday attacks added to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the city as hospitals in the area continued to suffer major shortages in medical supplies.

    US air strikes on Falluja have killed scores of civilians in recent weeks.

    US marines have been fighting Iraqis opposed to a foreign military presence in Falluja for months, but the intensity of fighting has increased dramatically in the last four days.

    The US military says it is targeting supporters of

    Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian whom the US accuses of being an al-Qaida operative.

    Al-Sadr supporters shot

    Elsewhere in Iraq violence continued. Iraqi troops opened fire on hundreds of supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr as they left a Baghdad mosque after Friday prayers, killing two men and wounding five people, doctors and witnesses said. 

    Iraqi troops killed two and injured
    five al-Sadr supporters

    The marchers were chanting slogans supporting al-Sadr when they were fired at by Iraqi National Guards near the Kadhimya neighbourhood in northern Baghdad, witnesses said. 

    A doctor at Naaman hospital said two men were killed in the violence. It was not immediately clear what prompted the Iraqi troops to fire. 

    A source at al-Sadr's office said the marchers were unarmed.

    An Iraqi group has threatened to kill four Iraqi policemen seized in Najaf unless

    police agree to stop hunting insurgents and pressuring al-Sadr, Aljazeera reported.

     

    The group threatened to kill the hostages within 72 hours unless their demands were met

    Businessmen murdered

    Meanwhile, three Lebanese, one of them a woman, were shot dead in Baghdad on Friday morning in a botched abduction attempt,

    the Lebanese Foreign Ministry announced in Beirut. 

    Businessmen Gibran Badine and Karim Khury along with Khury's wife, were shot dead at one of their homes, the ministry said. 

    The two men ran a food import business with an Iraqi associate.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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