posted on Apr, 4 2004 @ 04:14 PM
NAJAF, Iraq - Supporters of an anti-U.S. Shiite Muslim cleric waged violent demonstrations in four Iraqi cities Sunday, punctuated by a gun battle at
the Spanish garrison near this Shiite holy city that killed at least 20 people, including two coalition soldiers — an American and a Salvadoran.
The Spanish Defense Ministry had earlier reported four Salvadoran soldiers in the Spanish-led peacekeeping force had been killed. The death of the
American soldier on Sunday was not independently confirmed by U.S. authorities.
The clashes broke out when gunmen opened fire on the Spanish garrison in Najaf during a huge demonstration by followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, a
charismatic anti-American Shiite Muslim cleric. Reuters reported that Dr. Falah al-Numhna, Najaf’s director general for health, said 20 Iraqis were
killed and at least 200 wounded in the battle. He said at least two Iraqi police were among the dead.
600 U.S. fatalities
The U.S. military on Sunday reported that two U.S. Marines died in violence in Anbar province, bringing the number of Americans killed in the war to
at least 600. Anbar is an enormous stretch of land reaching to the Jordanian and Syrian borders west of Baghdad that includes Fallujah, a city where
four American civilians were slain on Wednesday.
Sunday was a day of fluid situations on the ground, and constantly shifting U.S. casualty counts. CNN reported that three U.S. soldiers were killed
and 10 were wounded in an ambush in Sadr City, an eastern Baghdad neighborhood. More About This Story Can Be Found
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