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U.S. Forces, Shi'ite Militia Clash In Holy City --> (file photo) 19 May 2004 -- There have been more clashes between U.S.-led coalition forces and militiamen of Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the holy city of Karbala.

Hospital officials said that the fighting late yesterday killed two Iraqi civilians and wounded three others. It took place close to the sensitive Imam Abbas shrine.

The Karbala representative of the Shi'ite spiritual leader in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has issued a call for city residents to demonstrate later today against fighting that he said threatens holy shrines.

In Baghdad, the U.S. military said today that a U.S. marine died in action yesterday in western Iraq. No details were immediately available.

A group purportedly linked to Al-Qaeda has become the second to claim responsibility for the car-bomb slaying of Iraq Governing Council head Abd al-Zahra Uthman Muhammad (Izz al-Din Salim). Both claims were posted on websites.