A US airstrike in the southern Iraqi city of Basra early Saturday killed eight people as clashes between security forces and militiamen continued for the fifth straight day. US warplanes dropped bombs on the Al-Baath neighborhood of northwest Basra, killing at least eight people and damaging several houses, Iraqi police and witnesses said.
More than 180 people have been killed in fierce clashes between fighters loyal to Moqtada Sadr and Iraqi and US occupation troops after a crackdown was launched in Basra on Tuesday. An Iraqi health official said the clashes in Baghdad's Sadr City have killed at least 75 people and injured nearly 500 over the past four days.
In the central holy city of Karbala overnight, 12 gunmen were killed and 25 others were captured, Karbala police chief Major General Raed Jawdat Shakir said.
Elsewhere, American forces said on Saturday they had killed 48 gunmen the previous day in gun battles and air strikes across Baghdad. In one strike in northwestern Baghdad late on Friday, a U.S. helicopter fired a Hellfire missile killing 10 gunmen who attacked a checkpoint. In another incident later in the evening, soldiers on patrol returned fire after an attack, killing nine.