U.S. troops sealed off roads around the house of an Iraqi Shi’ite Muslim cleric on Saturday and another sheikh warned the crackdown on radicals would only backfire. Soldiers surrounded the buildings used by local cleric Sayyid Mahmoud al-Hassani with armored vehicles and helicopters circled overhead. Three U.S. military police and two Iraqi police were killed on Thursday night in fighting in the city which U.S. forces blamed on supporters of Hassani, himself a sympathizer of radical Shi’ite leader Moqtada al-Sadr who opposes the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. Full Story
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