Four guardsmen were killed when their patrol was targeted by an explosive in the Abu Ghraib neighbourhood west of Baghdad, Aljazeera said.

Two guardsmen and a civilian were also killed in battles with armed groups in Samarra north of Baghdad.

Aljazeera said that in the northern city of Mosul, US and Iraqi National Guard forces raided the Saad Bin Maath mosque after Friday prayers. They were searching for the mosque's imam, who was not there at the time.

A US military vehicle, part of a US patrol, was damaged in the Samilat district in Abu Ghraib when an explosive device was detonated by fighters on Friday, Aljazeera said.

Aljazeera also learned that a house used as a base by US troops in the Zaidan district in Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, came under heavy mortar fire. Eyewitnesses said a number of US soldiers were hit in the attack.

Deadly day

Earlier, a US marine was killed in al-Anbar province on Thursday, bringing to nine the number of US troops killed on that day.

"A marine assigned to First Marine Expeditionary Force was killed in action Thursday, 6 January, while conducting security and stability operations in the al-Anbar province," a military statement said, adding the incident was under investigation. 

Earlier, another marine was killed in al-Anbar and seven US soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing of a Bradley fighting vehicle in Baghdad. 

The nine soldiers killed made Thursday the deadliest day in 2005 for US forces in Iraq so far.

According to the latest Pentagon casualty figures, the deaths raised to 1350 the number of soldiers killed in Iraq since the US-led invasion in March 2003.

Of those killed, 1064 soldiers died in combat.