U.S. Soldier Killed, Six Hurt in Fallujah Ambush

Iraq's hit-and-run resistance struck U.S. forces in this tense city west of Baghdad (search) for a second day Monday, killing one American paratrooper and wounding six others, the U.S. command reported.

Two civilians were killed in the clash, including one whose family said he was shot by the Americans after they detained and handcuffed him. The Pentagon (search) said it had no information on the claim, and U.S. military spokesmen in Iraq had no immediate comment.

Fallujah (search) is among the most dangerous cities for American troops in the "Sunni Triangle" to the north and west of Baghdad, where resistance to the U.S. occupation is most intense.

Early Tuesday, the U.S. military said coalition troops and Iraqi security forces were "taking action against criminal elements" in Karbala, the city where an American lieutenant colonel was killed in a firefight outside the home of a Shiite Muslim (searchcleric on Thursday. The Central Command office in Baghdad refused to provide any other details.

Efforts to reinforce embattled American troops in Iraq suffered new setbacks Monday, with Bangladesh ruling out sending soldiers and Iraqi tribal leaders renewing demands that Turkish troops stay at home.

In the midday raid, insurgents attacked a dismounted patrol from the 82nd Airborne Division, first with a homemade bomb and then with small-arms fire, the U.S. command said. The patrol consisted of about 30 soldiers accompanied by five Humvees.

Reporters and Iraqi witnesses said the paratroopers raked the area with return fire, then raided a mosque and houses looking for the attackers. They detained at least nine Iraqis, including a woman, residents said.

The clash came a day after rocket-propelled grenades destroyed a U.S. Army ammunition truck that had broken down on the highway east of Fallujah. One civilian was killed and four were wounded in the explosions or in the U.S. gunfire that followed.

No U.S. casualties were reported in Sunday's attack, which set off celebrations among Iraqi youths.

The bodies of the two civilians killed in the Monday attack -- an Iraqi and a Syrian truck driver -- were taken to Fallujah General Hospital. The Associated Press saw that one of them, Iraqi Nazem Baji, had a gunshot wound in the back of his head and his hands were tied in front of him with plastic bands similar to those used by the U.S. military when they arrest suspects.

"They (Americans) raided the house, shot him first in the leg, tied his hands and then shot him in the head," said the victim's brother, Dira'a Baji. Baji said his brother was the only male in the house when the Americans came but that several women relatives were present and described what happened. None of the women was at the hospital.

The U.S. military press office in Baghdad said it had no information on the allegation and referred AP to the 82nd Airborne press office. An e-mail request for comment was forwarded but no reply was received.

At Fort Bragg, N.C., military spokesmen said the dead paratrooper was assigned to the 1st Battalion of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

Police Lt. Mahmoud al-Falahi said the truck driver was killed in the crossfire. The trailer was lying on its side on a bridge, and the cab's windshield was pocked with bullet holes.

"A roadside bomb detonated on the main street, then there was an attack on the American patrol," al-Falahi said. "The Americans started combing the area with gunfire, killing a truck driver."

Another Syrian driver, Ibrahim Jassem, said the victim was part of a convoy hauling cement from Lebanon to Baghdad when he was caught up in the attack.

"The soldiers shot at random," Jassem said. "He was driving to Baghdad to drop off his shipment and return to Syria. They are against the Arabs and Iraqis. Everyone must attack them."

The latest U.S. deaths brought to 104 the number of Americans killed by hostile fire since President Bush declared an end to major combat May 1. A total of 339 Americans have died since the March 20 invasion of Iraq, 218 of them in combat.

The Bush administration hoped last week's passage of the new U.N. Security Council resolution, which urges other nations to contribute troops and money, might bring reinforcements to help restore order in Iraq.

On Monday, however, Bangladesh, a Muslim country and frequent contributor to U.N. peacekeeping missions, said the new resolution doesn't meet its key condition for sending troops: that the United Nations, not the United States, play the primary role in Iraq's transition.

In the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, meanwhile, tribal leaders from across the country met and declared their opposition to allowing Turkish peacekeeping troops on Iraqi soil.

The Turkish Parliament has agreed to a U.S. request for troops, but Iraqis overwhelmingly oppose such a deployment because of sensitivities over centuries of Turkish colonial domination.

The current leader of the interim Iraqi Governing Council had proposed another way to strengthen the security forces: recalling to duty the disbanded, 400,000-member Iraqi army, which disintegrated last April as a U.S.-British invasion force advanced through the country.

Council President Iyad Allawi's idea won a cool reception from the U.S.-led occupation administration Sunday. On Monday, a representative of another council member, Shiite Muslim leader Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim, also didn't endorse the proposal.

"To reinstall the former Iraqi army is something that is not being discussed in the Governing Council or any other authority," Adel Abdul-Mahdi said.

In other U.S. military action, U.S. troops of the 4th Infantry Division detained four suspected high-level Baath Party members and a former Republican Guard officer involved in arms sales to insurgents during raids in the north, the military said Monday.