Eight killed in Iraq clashes

May 9th, 2008 - 6:19 pm ICT by admin  

Basra (Iraq), May 9 (Xinhua) At least eight people have been killed and 21 injured in separate clashes between the government troops and insurgents near Iraq’s southern city of Basra, the police and US military sources said Friday. In one incident, an Iraqi soldier was killed and three others were wounded when gunmen attacked their patrol in al-Askari neighbourhood, some 35 km west of Basra, a police official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The fighting between the Iraqi security forces and Mahdi militiamen started Thursday afternoon.

In another clash, five civilians were killed and 10 wounded. Two houses and a civilian car were also damaged in the gunfight, the official said.

Witnesses in Basra said Mahdi militiamen of radical Shia cleric Muqtaba al-Sadr had fired 30 rockets at the Iraqi army headquarter and the US base here Thursday.

Basra is about 550 km south of Baghdad.

A military statement said two civilian contractors were killed and eight wounded, including four US soldiers, when rockets hit a convoy of the coalition forces at around 1120 GMT Thursday.

Off late, Basra has became the scene of fierce clashes between Shia militias and US-backed Iraqi security forces after the latter launched a massive offensive, dubbed “Operation Cavalry Assault” to restore the law and order in the city.

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