Fighting rages in rebel-held Ramadi
RAMADI: Fighting raged between rebels controlling Ramadi and US Marines on Wednesday after two Iraqis were killed in clashes following a suicide car bomb attack, witnesses said.
As insurgents battled Marines in Ramadi, the death toll from clashes in Samarra climbed to six, with four civilians and two police killed, a hospital official said. Warplanes were heard over Ramadi, where witnesses said a US armoured vehicle was in flames and smoke rose from an American base that was hit by a mortar.
Fighting spread from the centre of the city to the industrial zone in the east after a suicide bomber attacked a US military checkpoint and clashes killed two Iraqi civilians.
There were no immediate reports of US casualties. Witnesses said American soldiers using loudspeakers told residents to stay home after clashes with guerrillas broke out. Ramadi, not far from Fallujah, is as a major security problem for US forces, who have a small base in the city. Insurgents in black masks and red and white checkered scarves took up positions along Ramadi’s streets on Wednesday, aiming their RPGs towards US targets. An official at Ramadi hospital said the two dead Iraqis were civilians. There was no immediate comment from the US military on the fighting there. A suicide car bomber attacked a US convoy in Samarra on Wednesday, a local police official said.
In a separate incident, an Iraqi policeman was killed when insurgents opened fire on US soldiers in the town. Meanwhile, at dawn on Wednesday, insurgents carried out a car bomb attack on a US patrol in southern Baghdad. The US military said two soldiers were slightly wounded but had returned to duty. Witnesses said several Iraqis were wounded. agencies