Fierce fighting raged on Tuesday as United States and Iraqi forces battled heavily armed Shi'ite militiamen in their Baghdad bastion of Sadr City for a third straight day, a correspondent and witnesses said. They said fierce clashes erupted soon after midnight as American tanks attempted to push into Sadr City.
Clashes between militiamen and United States forces in the Iraqi capital's Shi'ite bastion of Sadr City killed at least 20 people and wounded 52 others on Sunday, Iraqi security and medical officials said. Officials from Iraq's security and defence ministries said women and children were among the dead and wounded.
Followers of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr staged noisy protests on Thursday against a crackdown on Shi'ite fighters in Basra as the southern oil hub was rocked by a third straight day of fighting. Demonstrations were held in Sadr City and Kadhimiyah, two Baghdad bastions of Sadr's Mehdi Army militia.
Iraqi security forces fought raging battles with gunmen from radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Shi'ite militia in Basra on Tuesday amid a crackdown on armed groups in the southern city. British military officials said Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was in Basra to personally oversee the major security force sweep in Iraq's second largest city.