Coalition soldiers injured in fire fight

Four coalition soldiers were wounded after they were fired on with handguns and rocket-propelled grenades, the US military said today.

Four coalition soldiers were wounded after they were fired on with handguns and rocket-propelled grenades, the US military said today.

The soldiers were wounded on Friday in Qalah Salih, about 25 miles south of Amarah, after a crowd of residents gathered around a convoy of coalition vehicles and troops who had arrested a man thought to have fired on them earlier in the day with an RPG.

The names and nationalities of the wounded soldiers, whose injuries weren’t life threatening, weren’t released.

At about 4pm coalition soldiers were fired on from the crowd, the military said, and troops fired back before the fighting ended just after 7pm.

It wasn’t known if any bystanders or civilians were injured or killed.

The incident happened in a sector commanded by British forces. There are some 8,000 British troops stationed in Iraq. Britain has lost 58 troops since the start of hostilities.

Some 410 Danish troops are based near Qurnah, between Qalah Salih and the city of Basra.

Southern Iraq, dominated by Shi’ites, has not had the anti-coalition guerrilla violence that has plagued Baghdad and mainly-Sunni central Iraq.

But Basra and other southern towns have seen killings and violence blamed on local rivalries and revenge attacks on former Saddam backers.

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