Three US servicemen were killed on Sunday in clashes in al-Anbar province of western Iraq. Two others were killed on Friday, he said.

The US military could not immediately release details on the circumstances of their death.

Elsewhere on Sunday, five Polish soldiers were injured in an accident which was unrelated to any attack, a Polish military spokesman said.

The five soldiers received medical treatment and returned to their duties, said Colonel Zdzislaw Gnatowski.

Al-Zarqawi claim

Meanwhile, a website has carried a statement in which the al-Qaida linked group of Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for killing 17 national guardsmen in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. 

In Mosul 17 more bodies of Iraqi
guardsmen have been found

The statement, which could not be independently verified, said the "lions of the Ibn Khattab Brigade" launched a rocket attack on a US army patrol backed by members of the Iraqi National Guard on Thursday.

A US soldier was killed and five wounded, said the al-Qaida Group of Jihad in the Country of Two Rivers, led by Iraq's most wanted man. It added that seven national guardsmen were killed in a separate attack on the same day.

On Friday, the Ibn Khattab Brigade seized and killed three more members of the national guard, while another seven guardsmen were killed on their way to work at a camp northwest of Mosul, according to the statement.

More bodies

The US military said 17 more bodies were found on Saturday in Mosul, bringing to almost 60 the number of men executed and dumped on the streets of Mosul in the past 10 days. It did not report any US casualties.

In the south of the country, a group of unidentified assailants blew up an oil pipeline which transports crude oil from al-Zawahiriya district to the south of Basra town.

The pipeline transporting oil from Zubair-1 pumping station to  the Gulf shore across al-Faw island was set on fire.

Firefighters and Iraqi national guardsmen rushed to the scene and managed to extinguish the fire.