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Baghdad: Shiite convoy ambushed

Story Highlights

• The convoy of a powerful Shiite leader's son was ambushed in southern Baghdad
• Officials in northern Iraq issued a vehicle ban amid security threats
• A U.S. solder was killed in a rocket attack on a U.S. base
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Six security guards were wounded Thursday night when gunmen ambushed the convoy of a top Shiite leader's son, said Haytham al-Hussaini, a spokesman for the head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim.

Al-Hussaini said Ammar al-Hakim's convoy was struck in the Dora neighborhood of southern Baghdad but that he was unharmed. Al-Hakim was also detained in February by U.S. troops sparking mass protests.

The leader's son was headed to Baghdad from Najaf when his convoy came under attack. Al-Hussaini said the guards engaged "these criminal gangs" before driving out of the area.

SCIRI is one of the most powerful political parties in Iraq and it is part of the Shiite-led ruling coalition called the United Iraqi Alliance.

U.S. troops fired on from mosque

Two insurgents were killed in a firefight with U.S. troops in Baghdad on Friday after militants fired on the soldiers from a mosque, a spokesperson for the U.S. military said.

The incident took place in southwestern Baghdad and the gunshots came from the Husayniayh al-Bayaa mosque. The troops were from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

After the firefight, more soldiers arrived and secured the scene.

"Aviation support also arrived at the scene of the fighting, but did not engage any targets," the spokesperson said.

Soldiers went through nearby buildings and "found chemicals in a house believed to be bomb-making materials."

A suspect was detained. U.S. troops didn't enter the mosque later on but Iraqi troops did. They didn't find any suspects or weaponry.

8 insurgents killed, 41 detained

Coalition forces launched operations in Iraq on Friday that resulted in the deaths of eight insurgents and the discovery of seven tanks of chlorine, the U.S. military said.

The chlorine was found near Mahmoudiya in Babil province. Forty-one people were detained during the operations.

The discovery of the chlorine is significant because insurgents have used chlorine gas in car bombs in recent weeks.

There were also raids in Baghdad targeting car bombers and near Mosul targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Vehicle ban amid security threat

Authorities in two major northern Iraqi cities have imposed vehicle bans because of security threats, officials told CNN.

The measures were taken in Mosul and Tal Afar, both in Nineveh province. Tal Afar Mayor Gen. Najem Abdullah said a ban was imposed Thursday evening because insurgents have been distributing leaflets threatening to carry out chemical attacks against civilians.

Authorities are hoping to lift the ban late Friday afternoon. An official in the Nineveh governor's office, in Mosul, said authorities announced an indefinite vehicle ban at 8pm Thursday.

Abdullah said the threats are separate. Both cities have endured insurgent violence during the Iraqi war. A few weeks ago in Tal Afar, truck bomb attacks targeting Shiite district killed 152 people. It was the single deadliest attack since the start of the Iraq war in 2003.

The bombings sparked reprisal shootings the next day in a Sunni neighborhood, killing around 70 people.

U.S. soldier killed in strike

A Task Force Marine soldier was killed and two others were wounded when a rocket struck their base south of Baghdad Thursday night, a spokesperson for the U.S. military said.

The base is called Forward Operating Base Mahmoudiya.

Mahmoudiya is in Babil province. The U.S. military death toll in the Iraq war now stands at 3,316. In April, so far, 69 have been killed.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh contributed to this report

Gunmen ambushed Ammar al-Hakim's convoy in Baghdad. Al-Hakim is the son of a powerful Shiite leader.


• Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
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