US troops fired at its column on Thursday to the south of Nasiriya. There are killed and wounded marines. The Qatar TV channel, Al-Jazeera, reported this as urgent news.
The channel also reports that a group of foreign journalists who accompanied the US troops in the region was shelled by the Iraqi artillery.
Al-Jazeera reports that fierce battles are going on to the south of Nasiriya, to the south-east of an-Najaf and to the south of Basra.
A representative of the Iraqi command said that the republican guard inflicted heavy losses on the enemy in the first battle near the town of an-Najaf.
The TV channel also reports that several Iraqi tanks were destroyed from the air in Souk al-Kheir district, 20 km south-east of Najaf.
The US and British aviation bombed a residential district Abu al-Huseib north of Basra. There are victims among civilians.