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Clash leaves 5 dead, 15 injured

Iraqi security forces clashed with a breakaway faction of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army again on Saturday, leaving five dead and 15 injured in the latest violence to sweep the country, police said.
AP | By Ryan Lenz, Baghdad
UPDATED ON MAR 15, 2008 06:17 PM IST

Iraqi security forces clashed with a breakaway faction of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army again on Saturday, leaving five dead and 15 injured in the latest violence to sweep the country, police said.

The fighting between the gunmen and police in Kut, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Baghdad, has lasted for several days, police officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

The US military on Saturday also said a suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest a day earlier at a checkpoint near the Syrian border, killing an interpreter and wounding six others, including two coalition soldiers.

That attack followed a suicide car bombing on Thursday of an Iraqi army checkpoint in Tikrit, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad. One Iraqi soldier was killed and nine wounded in that blast, the military said.

No other details for either bombing were immediately available. Also on Saturday, a street sweeper was killed and eight injured when a roadside bomb hidden in a trash can exploded in Baghdad's central Karradah neighborhood, the police said.

A funeral was planned Saturday in Baghdad for Tariq Ahmed, a former Iraqi soccer player and coach who was killed a day earlier when unknown gunmen shot him outside his Baghdad home, a second set of police officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

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