The U.S. military in Iraq says its troops killed 26 insurgents and detained 17 others in two pre-dawn raids in the Shi'ite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad.
In a statement Saturday, the U.S. military said the militants were believed to have ties to "Iranian terror networks responsible for funneling lethal aid into Iraq."
It said U.S. soldiers faced "significant" resistance during the raids, including roadside bomb attacks as well as fire from rocket-propelled grenades and light weapons.
Separately, U.S. military officials said reports earlier this week of 20 men found beheaded in a village near Salman Pak were completely false.
Officials said anti-Iraqi forces are known for purposely providing false information to the media to incite violence and revenge killings.
In other news, a top Army enlisted man was convicted Friday of offenses in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including sexual misconduct.
Command Sergeant Major Edward Ramsdell was found guilty of possessing alcohol and pornography and engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a female soldier in his unit He was also convicted of escape from custody, impeding an investigation and wrongfully removing evidence. The offenses occurred last October.
Ramsdell was sentenced to be reduced in rank to Specialist and to serve four months in confinement.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters