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Iraqi Authorities Regain Control of Diwaniyah


Iraqi officials say authorities have regained control of the southern city of Diwaniyah, after fierce clashes with Shi'ite militiamen that claimed more than 70 lives.

The office of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says 23 government soldiers and 50 gunmen were killed in the fighting Monday. Several civilians also were reported to have died.

The fighting ended after a deal was reached between officials and Shi'ite militiamen loyal to radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Meanwhile, some 30 Iraqis were killed and a number of others wounded in a fuel pipeline explosion near Diwaniyah. The victims may have been trying to syphon fuel at the time of the blast.

In Baghdad, police say they found the bodies of at least 20 people who had been shot and dumped in the capital.

The U.S. military has reported the deaths of 10 American soldiers in hostile action in Iraq since Sunday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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