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US Investigating Claims of Civilian Deaths in Ramadi


The U.S. military says it is investigating reports that civilians were killed during fighting between U.S. forces and insurgents Thursday in the Iraqi city of Ramadi.

A military official, Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, told reporters in Baghdad Friday that U.S. Marines did not think there were civilian causalities in the battle.

The military says at least 12 insurgents died in the six-hour clash. Iraqi officials say women and children were among those killed.

In other developments today, Iraqi officials say U.S. troops briefly detained the son of leading Shi'ite politician Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. The officials say Ammar al-Hakim was held after returning from a visit to Iran. The U.S. military has not said why Hakim was detained.

Also, Iraqi police announced that a suspected al-Qaida insurgent was arrested in Basra earlier in the week.

The U.S. military says four American soldiers were killed Thursday in combat in Iraq - three in al-Anbar province and one in a bomb attack near Ad Diwaniyah.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.