US Army says some 40 Iraqis killed in clashes with Muqtada al-Sadr followers in Najaf
In southern Iraq, heavy fighting between occupation forces and Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr's armed supporters came in the holy city of Karbala. According to press reports, occupation forces raided a hotel, the local former Baath Party headquarters and the regional governor's office, where al-Sadr fighters had been stockpiling weapons, US Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said.
Fighters loyal to al-Sadr had controlled the governor's office since April 4.
Occupation soldiers came under fire in the overnight raid on the governor's office, Kimmitt said Thursday in Baghdad. Another US official said some 40 al-Sadr followers were killed.
Outside the city of Kufa, U.S. forces attacked a van where Iraqis were seen unloading weapons. The vehicle was destroyed and five Iraqis were killed, Kimmitt said.
In overnight fighting in Karbala, one Shiite fighter was killed, a senior U.S. officer said, according to The AP.
In Baghdad's Sadr city, an overwhelmingly Shiite Muslim enclave, Shiite resistance fighters ambushed four U.S. patrols. Ten attackers were killed in retaliatory gunfire, the U.S. officer said. There were no reports of U.S. casualties.
In Najaf, U.S. troops battled al Sadr's al-Mahdi Army fighters outside a cemetery near the Imam Ali Shrine, Iraq's holiest Shiite site, reports said. (Albawaba.com)
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