At least 10 killed, four wounded in Iraq violence

( dpa )- At least 10 people were killed, including several US soldiers, four wounded and 15 detained in Iraqi violence, US and Iraqi officials and media reports said Saturday.

Iraqi forces on Saturday killed a leader of the al-Qaeda terrorist network in his house in the northern city of Samara, Iraqi officials told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Sources said US officials on Friday had killed two al-Qaeda militants of Arab nationalities in the same city.

"The US forces managed to kill two members of al-Qaeda, one of them is Saudi and the other is Algerian, during a military operation in al-Raka village," an Iraqi official told dpa.

In Kirkuk, some 250 kilometres north of Baghdad, an Iraqi contractor was killed in front of his house in the military district, sources told dpa.

Iraqi forces found four bodies near al-Abassy area in al-Howeija city.

Another 20 bodies were found in separate areas in the city of Baquba, some 350 kilometres north of Baghdad.

In the city of al-Howeija, some 350 kilometres west of Baghdad, militants on Saturday killed a civilian, Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency said.

Militants also wounded a member of the Awakening Council late Friday in al-Sakhra village on the main road between the cities of Mosul and Kirkuk.

Awakening Councils are local police squads, located mainly in Sunni Iraqi provinces, which fight the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

In Karbala, some 100 kilometres south of the Iraqi capital, 15 people were detained, including four members of the Mujahidin Khalq group, the Iranian opposition in Iraq, al-Arabiya news channel said.

The press spokesman for the People Mujahidin Organization of Iran (PMOI) in Ashraf camp denied detentions of members of Mujahidin Khalq.

He told dpa: "This is a misinformation campaign by the Iranian regime against PMOI in Ashraf. We totally deny this claim, and all members of the Mujahidin are staying in Ashraf and protected by the US military."

He said the Iranian regime had dispatched to Iraq some elements of the Qods force, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, to pursue this misinformation campaign.

A bomb attack and explosion killed five US soldiers, the US military said early Saturday.

Four of the deaths took place north-west of Baghdad on Friday when the soldiers' vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb while on patrol, the US military said in a press statement.

The fifth soldier was killed in an explosion near his vehicle in At-Tamim, north-east of Tikrit, on Friday. The blast injured three soldiers.

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