The U.S. military in Iraq says a Marine helicopter was shot down in the southern city of Najaf today (Thursday) during heavy fighting between U.S. forces and supporters of radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
A spokesman said several crew members were wounded and evacuated.
The military said fighting in Najaf erupted overnight when local authorities requested the Marines' help after the cleric's supporters twice attacked the city's main police station.
Hospital officials said at least three people have died.
In Basra, at least two Sadr militiamen were killed in a gunbattle between the cleric's supporters and British troops.
Meanwhile, a car bomb explosion killed at least five people and wounded more than 20 others outside a police station in the town of Mahawil, south of Baghdad.
Information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.