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U.S. fight leaves 6 young Iraqis dead

U.S. soldiers fought with suspected insurgents using a building as a safe house in Ramadi on Tuesday, killing one Iraqi man and five females, ranging in age from an infant to teenagers, the U.S. military said.

Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, has been the scene of some of Iraq's fiercest fighting between U.S. forces and Sunni insurgents.

It is the capital of Anbar province, where many Iraqi insurgents are based.

The bloodshed came on a day that saw sectarian violence kill 10 other Iraqis and wound about 50, police said. The bodies of 50 torture victims also were discovered, police said. A U.S. Marine died Monday in Anbar province, the military said.

The battle in Ramadi began when a U.S. patrol discovered a roadside bomb in the Hamaniyah section of the city, and two suspected insurgents fled to a house, where they took up positions on the roof, the military said.

As coalition forces removed the bomb, the militants fired on the soldiers, who fought back with machine guns and tanks, the statement said.

Afterward, coalition forces searched the house and found the six bodies, ranging in age from an infant to teenagers, the military said, without providing ages. Another female was wounded but refused treatment, it said.

There were no coalition casualties.

The military quoted residents as saying the building "was a known anti-Iraqi force safe house."

Marine Lt. Col. Bryan Salas said efforts were under way to "coordinate and offer available assistance to surviving family members."

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, blamed the United States for the chaos in Iraq, saying the answer to the violence is the withdrawal of foreign forces.

But following Khamenei's comments, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to extend for one year the mandate of the 160,000-strong multinational force in Iraq.

The council responded to a request from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who said a top government priority is to assume full responsibility for security and stability throughout Iraq but that it needs more time.

The Iraqi Parliament voted to extend the country's state of emergency through December, but the U.S. military warned of worse sectarian violence after last week's deadly insurgent attack on Shiites in the capital.

Citing the insurgent attack that killed at least 215 people in Baghdad's Sadr City on Thursday, Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, a U.S. military spokesman, said al-Qaida in Iraq is determined to dominate Baghdad, weaken the Iraqi government and kill as many Shiites as possible to deepen Iraq's sectarian divisions.

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