U.S. Troops Kill 11 Shiite Militiamen

American soldiers raided a neighborhood in the southern Iraqi city of Kut early Thursday morning, killing 11 members of the Mahdi Army, the militia loyal to the anti-American Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, the American military and witnesses said. Leaders of the Sadr movement, which has abided by a cease-fire for several months, condemned the American operation. Witnesses said that explosions, thumping helicopters and bursts of automatic-weapons fire echoed through the Kut neighborhood of Al Jameea for at least three hours as American forces fought Mahdi militiamen. At least four people were wounded during the clash, the police said. Full Story

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