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Coalition Forces Kill 3 Suspected Terrorists in Iraq

The U.S. military in Iraq says coalition forces have killed three suspected terrorists and detained 17 others during operations targeting al-Qaida in Iraq militants since Friday.

In a statement, the military said coalition troops opened fire on a group of militants in the Tigris River Valley Saturday after three armed suspects attempted to escape.

It said the troops detained eight of the suspects during the ongoing operation between the northern cities of Bayji and Tikrit.

Separately, the military said an Iraqi civilian was killed when he was caught in the crossfire during an operation targeting militants in Mosul Saturday. A military spokesman said the U.S.-led coalition regrets any civilian casualty, and takes every precaution to engage only "hostile threats."

Elsewhere in Iraq, followers of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have accused the Iraqi army of violating a recent cease-fire deal.

The accusations came after Iraqi soldiers in the southern city of Basra fired into the air Friday to disperse hundreds of Sadr's followers who had gathered in a public square for prayers. Authorities had banned Sadr's supporters from gathering in the square.