Insurgents kill 19 in Iraq clash
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- -- Insurgents killed 19 people Thursday southeast of Baghdad in a battle with Shiite militia members and Iraqi police, police said.
The clashes occurred in the town of Khazaliya after members of the Mehdi Army militia asked police to help them free a kidnapped member.
Police said 17 militia members and two police officers were killed.
The Mehdi militia is affiliated with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose forces fought U.S. troops early in the insurgency until reaching a truce with the American-led coalition.
In other violence Thursday, a suicide car bomb exploded near a U.S. military convoy in the south-central part of Baghdad, killing a civilian and wounding four others, a Baghdad emergency police official said.
The explosion took place about 7:45 a.m. (12:45 a.m. ET) outside the National Theater building.
Two local police officers in Baquba north of Baghdad were killed in separate incidents Thursday. In addition, an Iraqi police officer was shot and killed Thursday driving to work in southern Baghdad's Dora neighborhood.
Three U.S. soldiers also were killed in separate attacks, the military said Thursday.
A soldier was killed and four others wounded Thursday near Ashraf when insurgents attacked their patrol with a bomb and small-arms fire.
On Wednesday, a roadside bomb hit a convoy in east Baghdad, killing two Task Force Baghdad soldiers, the military said.
The number of U.S. troops to die in the Iraq war stands at 2,004.
CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.
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