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Coalition Forces Clash With Al-Sadr Fighters In Iraq

5 August 2004 -- U.S. and British forces clashed today with Iraqi Shi'a militia in Baghdad, Al-Basrah, and Al-Najaf.

In Al-Najaf, in central Iraq, fighters loyal to radical Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr battled U.S. Marines. At least one U.S. soldier and three Iraqis were killed.

A U.S. helicopter was also downed, wounding several crew members.

The fighting in Al-Najaf is the heaviest in the holy city since a rebellion by al-Sadr's followers in April and May.

British forces say they killed two militiamen today in the southern city of Al-Basrah.

Al-Sadr's militia also fought with U.S. troops in the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City. Insurgents fired on an American patrol, wounding seven U.S. soldiers.

In Mahawil, south of Baghdad, at least five people were killed and more than 20 injured today when gunmen and a suicide bomber attacked an Iraqi police station.