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Iraq Transition

Ten militiamen killed in Baghdad

U.S. military said it is investigating


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Acts of terror

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Ten Iraqi militiamen were killed early Sunday in clashes with U.S. forces in the Sadr City section of Baghdad, Iraqi police sources told CNN.

The clashes broke out between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Sunday between U.S. troops and the Mehdi Army over U.S. detention of a number of the organization's members, police said.

U.S. forces retreated at about 4 a.m., police said, and calm was restored.

A spokesman for the U.S. military brigade in charge of Sadr City said it was investigating reports of clashes between its soldiers and gunmen in Sadr City, but could provide no further details.

In addition, four bodies were found about 8:30 a.m. Sunday in the al-Shula neighborhood of Baghdad near an ice factory, a police source said.

The four men had been shot in the head execution-style and also appeared to have been beaten.

Suicide bomber

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber detonated explosives inside a bus in Baghdad on Friday, killing two people and injuring 17, Iraqi police said.

Later Friday in the Iraqi capital, gunmen shot dead two Interior Ministry officials and a brother of one of them in their cars, police said. This continued 24 hours of violence in which two U.S. soldiers and two insurgents died.

The suicide blast went off in the bus in Al Tayaran Square, in the center of Baghdad, at 11:45 a.m. (3:45 a.m. ET), according to an officer with the city's emergency police.

Authorities didn't know whether the bomber was wearing the explosives or carried them onto the Kia bus, the officer said.

The attack -- close to a public bus station -- had no apparent target other than civilians, police said.

The attacks on the Interior Ministry staff happened in different neighborhoods of Baghdad but both took place around 3 p.m. (7 a.m. ET).

Ashraf Jalal Rahman was killed in a drive-by shooting in the Mansour neighborhood and Capt. Ra'ad Khalil Hannun died in the Dora area, officials said.

Hannun's brother was also killed and a friend was critically wounded, police said.

Tal Afar 'under control'

U.S. and Iraqi forces have "largely" completed an operation to oust insurgents from the northwestern city of Tal Afar, a senior U.S. military commander said Friday.

"It is very clear that control of Tal Afar has been restored," Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, the deputy commander of coalition forces in the area, told reporters.

Operation Restoring Rights was launched to combat the largely Turkmen city near the Syrian border being used as a transit point and hideout for insurgents.

A claim, purportedly from the al Qaeda in Iraq terror group, said bombings in Baghdad that killed more than 150 on one day last week were in retaliation for the Tal Afar offensive.

Bergner, addressing reporters in the Pentagon in a teleconference from Iraq, said coalition forces were also having successes against al Qaeda in Iraq in the northwestern region as a whole.

"We are probably at the point of impacting about 80 percent of that network in terms of detaining, capturing, killing the leadership, and disrupting their resources and disrupting their support bases and neutralizing their capability to conduct operations against the Iraqi people and against Iraqi security forces and our own forces," he said.

However, he couldn't elaborate, when asked, on how such a percentage determined in the first place.

Insurgents killed

North of Baghdad, U.S. soldiers killed two insurgents and detained a third person during a raid, the U.S. military command in Tikrit said Friday.

A Task Force Liberty patrol was ambushed by shooters Thursday night south of Ad Duluyia, about 20 miles southeast of Samarra, according to officials.

The troops shot back and killed two insurgents, the military said.

Separately on Friday, the U.S. military reported it had arrested two foreign nationals in the northern city of Mosul last Saturday.

It named one as Adnan 'Ammar Tahir Muhammad, also known as Abu Ammar, and described him as a "foreign fighter facilitator" who worked "directly for the military emir of Mosul."

The military said he had "admitted to coalition forces that he had facilitated the housing and movement of foreign fighters throughout the Mosul area."

It added that the man claimed he "was a terrorist himself prior to assuming his role as facilitator. He also transported weapons and ammunition in and around Mosul for Abu Zubayr, the al Qaeda in Iraq emir of Mosul, who was killed last month."

The other man arrested was identified as a Tunisian, Yusif Nur-Al-Din 'Ali Mabruk also known as Abu Muhammad, who was said to have claimed that he was recruited from a French mosque.

"As he became more involved with extremist activities at the mosque, he decided to join the terror movement in Iraq," the military said.

"Abu Muhammad claims he left France and went to Damascus, Syria, and after making additional contacts was sent to eastern Syria where he was then smuggled into Iraq and ultimately to Mosul."

Journalists attacked

The news of the arrests came a day after the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists condemned attacks on media workers in Mosul.

Two newspaper journalists were killed there in the last week and an engineer for al-Iraqiya television was shot to death on Wednesday.

CPJ executive director Ann Cooper said: "We are gravely alarmed that insurgents are intensifying their murderous campaign against Iraqi journalists and media employees."

A statement from the committee added: "Al-Iraqiya has been increasingly targeted because of its ties to the U.S.-supported Iraqi government. Insurgents in Mosul have killed at least three other employees of the station and its affiliates in 2005, and al-Iraqiya offices have repeatedly come under mortar attack."

U.S. soldiers killed

The two U.S. soldiers who died were killed in separate attacks on Thursday, Multi-National Forces said Friday.

A homemade bomb exploded beside troops making a logistics patrol near Al Taqaddum, west of Baghdad, on Thursday night, the military said in a statement.

The blast killed a soldier from the 1st Corps Support Command and wounded a second, who was taken to a coalition forces hospital, the statement said.

A soldier assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), was shot to death during action in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, military officials said.

The soldiers' deaths bring the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq to 1,912.

CNN Producer Kianne Sadeq contribued to this report

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