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Fierce Fighting Erupts In Iraq

Al-Sadr's militia is putting up fierce resistance in Baghdad's Al-Sadr City (file photo) 7 September 2004 -- More than 20 people were killed today in Baghdad and U.S. forces shelled suspected insurgent positions inside Al-Fallujah.

Iraqi fighters and U.S. troops fought in Baghdad's Al-Sadr City. Iraq's Health Ministry said at least 17 Iraqis were killed early today. An Al-Sadr City doctor, Leith Ghazi, said at least seven others were killed in fighting later in the day.

The U.S. military confirmed one soldier was also killed in Al-Sadr City and two more U.S. soldiers were killed by small-arms fire in a town north of Baghdad.

In Al-Fallujah, U.S. forces used tanks and warplanes to shell targets inside the town.

The U.S. military already bombed parts of Al-Fallujah last night in retaliation for the killing of seven U.S. Marines in a car-bomb attack earlier on 6 September.

Armed men today stormed a building housing an Italian aid group in central Baghdad, abducting two Italian women and two Iraqi aid workers.