( dpa ) - At least 26 Iraqis have been killed, four wounded and 27 detained, including suspected members of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, in separate incidents in Iraq, US statements and Iraqi officials said Friday.
In Muqdadiyah city, some 100 kilometres north-east of Baghdad, US forces killed four suspects on Thursday during an operation targeting al-Qaeda, according to a US military statement.
In similar operations in the northern city of Mosul and near Lake Hamrin, five terrorist suspects were killed and another 17 arrested, US statements said.
During an operation in the northern city of Kirkuk, US troops killed 13 suspected terrorists and arrested three.
In other developments, an Iraqi woman and two children were killed, while another two were wounded Friday, when an explosive device targeting a US patrol went off in eastern Baghdad, the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) said.
At least two policemen were injured as violence flared in Basra, some 550 kilometres south of Baghdad, security sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
The two were wounded when militants fired at a police patrol in the Maqal area in southern Basra, sources said.
Meanwhile, VOI citing local witnesses reported numerous clashes between militants and Iraqi forces in the city, with an unconfirmed number of Iraqis wounded.
Late Thursday, the Iraqi authorities detained seven members of the Shiite Sadrist movement in the southern city of Karbala during Ashura celebrations.
Shiite Muslims were in many southern Iraqi cities on Friday ahead of the weekend's religious festival of Ashura, during which they undertake pilgrimages to a shrine held to be the tomb of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, who was killed in the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD.
Security has been tightened in almost all southern Iraqi cities ahead of Ashura celebrations.