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US Military Conducts Raid in Sadr City


U.S. troops in Iraq have killed 26 suspected militants and detained 17 others during a raid on Sadr City - the stronghold of the anti-Western Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al - Sadr.

A U.S. military spokesman, Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, said Saturday's pre-dawn raid targeted militants with ties to "Iranian terror networks responsible for funneling lethal aid into Iraq."

According to the military, U.S. soldiers faced "significant" resistance during the raids, including roadside bomb attacks as well as fire from rocket-propelled grenades and light weapons.

Violence has also touched other parts of Iraq. A suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd of police recruits in Muqdadiyah, killing at least 20 people and wounding at least 16 others.

And authorities defused a bomb that had been intended to sabotage an oil pipeline southwest of Kirkuk.

In another development, two American soldiers have been charged with murdering three unarmed Iraqis. A U.S. military court charged the men, Staff Sergeant Michael Hensley and Specialist Jorge Sandoval, with killing the Iraqis and leaving weapons near their bodies to make them look like gunmen. The military said the charges were brought after other soldiers reported the two to authorities.

Separately, U.S. military officials said reports earlier this week of 20 men found beheaded in a village near Salman Pak were false.

Officials said anti-Iraqi forces are known to purposely give false information to the media to incite violence and revenge killings.

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