Iraq: Clashes in south, US soldier killed
U.S. and Iraqi forces fought resistance elements early Sunday in Diwaniyah, a southern city under the increasing influence of the Madhi Army loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Twenty fighters were killed, the U.S. military said.
According to the AP, the clashes started after a joint U.S.-Iraqi unit raided the house of Kifah al-Greiti, a Mahdi Army commander, said Iraqi Army Capt. Fatiq Ayed. Three teams of Shiite fighters, armed with rocket-propelled grenades, opened fire on U.S. soldiers and damaged an M1A2 Abrams tank, the U.S. command said.
"Iraqi army and (U.S.) soldiers engaged and killed 20 terrorists during the fighting," the US military said in a statement.
Fighting was seen in two neighborhoods and heavy explosions could be heard through the night. The fighting subsided later in the morning.
Separately, the U.S. command said an American soldier died Saturday when his patrol was attacked with small-arms fire northwest of Baghdad.
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