Abdul Razzaq al-Nedawi, the head of Mr. Sadr's office in Diwaniya, said residents were surprised Sunday when American troops began raiding homes in three residential neighborhoods in the middle of the night.
"There was an agreement with the Iraqi government that U.S. forces would not enter residential areas in this city," he said. "This agreement was made through a channel linked to the office of the prime minister."
Mr. Nedawi denied that any Mahdi Army fighters were killed. Three were wounded, he said, one seriously. Hameed al-Shawali, an official from the Diwaniya Health Ministry, said the city’s hospital treated six of the wounded and received no bodies.
The fighting was touched off in the early morning hours when the home of Kefeh al-Greiti, a Mahdi commander, was raided, The Associated Press reported.
The above is from Michael Luo's "U.S. and Iraqi Forces Clash With Shiite Militia" in this morning's New York Times. Of the article (which has one of those end credit nightmare listings) we'll just note that it's rather sad a story with a dateline in Baghdad has to make room at the end for two paragraphs about what's going on in Afghanistan. Two different regions, two different wars, should be worth two different stories. You can't cover the above, cover Afghanistan and still fit in any reasonable summary of "other events in Iraq" all in the same piece.
For that summary, we'll note Martha's highlight, Amit R. Paley's "U.S. and Iraqi Forces Clash With Sadr Militia in South" (Washington Post):
In Baghdad, police reported the discovery of at least 53 bodies dumped across the capital over the past 24 hours. All of the victims had been shot and tortured, and their hands were bound. Militias have been blamed for similar killings thought to be driving the sectarian bloodshed.
The U.S. military also announced the deaths of five troops, bringing the American death toll for this month to at least 30. Three Marines assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 were killed Friday in the western province of Anbar; one soldier was killed by small-arms fire Saturday northwest of Baghdad; and another, assigned to the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, was killed Saturday by a bomb in the northern city of Mosul.
James Baker appeared on ABC's This Week and we'll note that in the next entry for those wondering.
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