Attackers have stormed and burnt a mosque in the southern Iraqi town of Haswa, while elsewhere five US soldiers were killed in roadside bombings.
The Sunni mosque in Haswa, a religiously mixed town 35 miles south of Baghdad, the capital, was attacked on Sunday morning.
Attackers blew up its minaret and set the mosque on fire, police said.
The attack was said to be in revenge for the destruction of a Shia mosque in the town the previous day. Police said at least four people were wounded in Sunday's attack.
A second Sunni mosque was attacked at the same time but damage was reported to be minor.
"The chances of success [in Iraq] are essentially zero because the Iraqi people have no voice"
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As residents combed the ruins of the building on Sunday, a column of armoured US and Iraqi Humvee vehicles nearby came under machinegun fire.
Police in Hilla, close to the town of Haswa, said a curfew had been imposed.
In other violence, roadside bombs killed five US soldiers on Sunday, including four soliders from Task Force Lightning who were killed when an improvised explosive device hit their patrol in Diyala province, the military said in a statement.
Two more soldiers were wounded in the incident.
Meanwhile, in Baghdad on Sunday, armed men on rooftops opened fire on Iraqi soldiers in the al-Sinak area, prompting fighting in the narrow streets and alleys of one of Baghdad's oldest neighborhoods on the east side of the Tigris River.
At least two civilians were killed and four others were wounded in the clashes, police said.