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For the second time in a week, American troops battled with insurgents firing from a mosque, official said Tuesday.

According to the U.S. military, troops operating south of Mahmudiyah were “responding to reports of weapons being moved into a mosque” and were attacked with rocket-propelled grenades over the weekend.

Military officials said a tip had been phoned in about weapons being unloaded from a vehicle and carried into the mosque.

Troops from the 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum, N.Y., went to investigate.

As the troops approached the mosque in the vehicles, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired from the mosque, hitting a vehicle.

No injuries were reported from that strike.

“A bystander said a group of armed men had fled the mosque in groups of three and dispersed in different directions,” a news release read.

“Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division searched the mosque, finding five possible rocket-launching devices.”

The Iraqis arrested 10 people after also searching nearby buildings and finding military gear.

U.S. officials said the mosque was not damaged during the incident.

Just days earlier, U.S. troops battled insurgents holed up in a Sunni mosque in Tarmiyah, also near Baghdad.

That gun battle resulted in one American soldier killed and another wounded.

A helicopter gunship was called in to kill a pair of insurgents in the mosque, with a Hellfire missile damaging the mosque’s roof.

Since the start of the war, mosques have been a touchy issue for U.S. troops, and have sometimes been used as hiding places for fighters and weapons.


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