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4 US Soldiers Killed in Iraq Clashes - 2003-10-17

A total of four American soldiers were killed and seven wounded following a gun battle south of Baghdad and a bomb blast in the Iraqi capital.

A 30-minute gun battle occurred around midnight during a U.S.-led patrol in the center of the restive city of Karbala, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad. U.S. military officials say 20 to 30 heavily armed Iraqis, standing on rooftops, opened fire on the joint patrol of U.S. military troops and Iraqi security personnel.

Three American soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division were killed and four others wounded. Two Iraqi police officers were also killed and five wounded. Eight of the attackers were said to have been killed.

A U.S. military official said the Iraqi gunmen were bodyguards of a local Shiite Muslim religious leader.

The attack was described as an unprovoked ambush.

On Friday, U.S. military officials said one American soldier was killed and two wounded following a bomb blast in Baghdad. No other details were provided.