In a statement on Tuesday, the military said six US soldiers were wounded in the fight against suspected members of al-Qaida's wing in Iraq, which is headed by Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

 

US forces followed a truck which drove to a small camp from a suspected location at the town of al-Qaim, 322km northwest of Baghdad and 1.6km from the Syrian border, the US military said.

 

The truck was loaded with material from a shed and tent at the camp and several adult males also boarded the truck before it headed back towards al-Qaim, the statement said.

 

"Before the occupants in the vehicle could reach their destination the commander of the operation decided to interdict the vehicle; upon stopping the truck, the suspected insurgents opened fire on Coalition forces," it said.

 

"A firefight ensued with nine enemy adult males killed in action and one enemy wounded."

 

Girl wounded

 

The US military said a six-year-old girl "sustained a minor injury to her right calf and to her head" and a suspected fighter was also wounded. 

US forces have killed many in
al-Qaim on the Syria border

 

A US military spokesman said the wounded girl and suspected fighter were taken to a coalition medical facility and that the girl would be treated by a female doctor.

 

All of the nine men killed were heavily armed with assault rifles and hand grenades, the US military said.

 

Three more people were killed by a US airstrike on the camp.

 

US forces said they found fake identification cards, foreign currency and other things which the US military claimed links the people at the camp and on the truck to al-Zarqawi's network.