U.S. forces clashed with insurgents southeast of the Iraqi capital Wednesday in fighting that left up to five civilians dead, officials said.

Clashes broke out late Tuesday in Kut al-Hayy (search), 120 miles southeast of Baghdad (search), and continued early Wednesday, said provincial Health Director Falah Hassan al-Bairamany.

At least five civilians were killed and eight were injured during the fighting, he said.

The U.S.-led coalition confirmed the clashes in a statement, saying four civilians were killed and four were wounded when their bus was caught in crossfire. It was not clear if they were among the five dead al-Bairamany reported.

"A bus inadvertently entered into the crossfire, causing several passengers to be hit by small arms fire," the coalition said.

The wounded were treated by coalition medics, the statement said.

U.S.-led troops were deployed to the Kut al-Hayy at the request of the provincial governor to "restore civil order to the city," the statement said.