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U.S. Forces, Militiamen Clash in Karbala

The U.S. military on Wednesday accused fighters loyal to a rebel cleric of firing on American forces from one of Shia Islam’s holiest shrines. Separately, a group linked to al-Qaida claimed responsibility for Monday’s car bomb assassination of the Iraqi Governing Council president in a statement posted on a militant Islamic Web site. The head of the Monotheism and Jihad Group is believed to be Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian wanted by the United States in connection with numerous terrorist attacks. He is suspected of strong links to Osama bin Laden’s network. It was the second group to claim responsibility. In Karbala, the militia of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was operating from the Imam Hussein shrine in the center of Karbala, said Cpt. Noel Gorospe, spokesman for the U.S. Army’s 1st Armored Division. Full Story

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