Iraqis killed in US Apache air strike

At least five people have been killed and several others injured after two US Apache helicopters launched an air strike targeting an al-Sadr bureau in al-Shula area of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

    Occupation forces have sealed off the city of Falluja

    According to Aljazeera's correspondent, a number of adjacent houses were damaged in the strike.

    A US vehicle was also seen burning in the area, he added. 

    Followers of the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr had previously taken control of al-Shula area, the correspondent said.

    Falluja besieged

    Meanwhile, a

    t least six Iraqis have been killed and several others wounded in clashes with US occupation forces in Falluja, west of Baghdad.

    According to Aljazeera's correspondent, huge numbers of US soldiers have surrounded the city, preventing people from entering or leaving.

    One Falluja resident reportedly told AFP that: "US forces bombed the Goland residential neighbourhood."

    Several people were killed, others wounded and some houses hit, said Burhan Abid, adding he went on to the roof of his house when the fighting started and saw US aircraft overhead.

    According to Abid the fighting erupted at 4:00am (00:00 GMT) and lasted for 90 minutes.

    Aljazeera crew stopped

    US occupation forces have prevented Aljazeera's media crew from entering Falluja city.

    The US army patrols the streets
    of al-Sadr city in Baghdad

    "We were also prevented from videotaping the area," reported Aljazeera's correspondent.
    He added that occupation forces "are based at all gates of the city, preventing citizens from entering or exiting it".

    US forces have told Aljazeera the city will remain sealed off for a couple of days.

    "Door-to-door operations may be launched in the city, in an attempt to capture those who killed US contractors last week," the correspondent added.

    Jordan-Baghdad highway shut

    The US-led occupation forces have also shut the highways from Baghdad to Jordan due to ongoing "military activities" in the area of Falluja and Ramadi.

    "The highways from Baghdad to Jordan will be closed indefinitely due to military activities"

    US consulate statement

    "The highways (highways 1 and 10) from Baghdad to Jordan will be closed indefinitely due to military activities," the US consulate said in a statement on Monday.

    The latest incident follows heavy clashes between occupation forces and Iraqis in Baghdad on Sunday, which, according to latest reports, left 50 people dead. "More than 50 people were killed and 100 others were injured", Amir al-Hussaini, director of al-Sadr's office in Rusafa, told Aljazeera.

    Najaf explosions

    Also on Monday, two explosions were heard in the holy city of Najaf.

    At least 20 Iraqis were killed in
    clashes with Spanish forces

    Aljazeera's correspondent reports the explosions may have targeted the Spanish forces' headquarters in the city.

    On Sunday, 20 Iraqis were killed and more than 100 injured in clashes between Spanish-led occupation troops and Shia demonstrators in Najaf.

    Two occupation soldiers – one from EL Salvador and the other from the US - also died in the clashes.

    The demonstrators were protesting against the detention of one of the top aides of Muqtada al-Sadr.

    Mosul blast

    In the northern city of Mosul, a roadside bomb attack on a US convoy on Sunday killed one American soldier and wounded another, a US military spokesman said on Monday.

    Al-Sadr supporters have taken 
    over the Basra governor's office  

    The attack was on a main road 390km north of Baghdad.

    In the British-controlled port city of Basra, followers of al-Sadr have taken over the governor's office.

    Elsewhere, another US soldier and a Marine were killed in separate attacks by fighters in Iraq, the US army said on Monday. It said the Marine was killed in the tense area west of Baghdad on Monday. The soldier was killed by a car bomb in the northern city of Kirkuk on Sunday.


    Dozens of armed Mahdi Army members stormed the governor's office in the southern city at dawn, raising a green flag on the roof of the building, an AP reporter said.

    Mahdi Army members were seen deployed inside and on the rooftop of the governor's office, alongside policemen who had been inside the building when it was overtaken.

    Four hours later there were no British troops in the area.

    Eighth US soldier killed

    An eighth US soldier had died from wounds sustained in fighting on Sunday with radical Shia protesters in the Baghdad's al-Sadr's city, the US army said on Monday.

    In a statement, the army said its previous reports that a US soldier was also killed on Sunday in clashes with Shia protesters near Najaf were incorrect. It said a Salvadoran soldier was the only foreign soldier killed in the fighting near Najaf.

    It has also emerged that eight Iraqis were killed and 10 others were injured late on Sunday during clashes between British forces and supporters of al-Sadr in the Iraqi southern Maysan province, Aljazeera's correspondent in Iraq reported.

    Two British tanks were also destroyed as they came under RPG attack in al-Amel area in Amara city, the correspondent added.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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