The U.S. military in Iraq says 16 insurgents have been killed during a raid by U.S. and Iraqi forces in northeast Baghdad.

A U.S. military statement Monday says Iraqi special operations forces killed the insurgents and wounded three others. The military also says 18 people were detained during the operation, and that coalition forces discovered a significant weapons cache during house-to-house searches. An Iraqi hostage was also set free.

Aides to radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr describe the operation as an attack by U.S. troops, which the aides say killed more than 20 innocent Iraqis at a mosque.

Coalition forces say no mosques were entered or damaged during the operation, which took place in a Shi'ite neighborhood near the Sadr City slum in the capital.

Elsewhere in Baghdad, Iraqi police say 12 bodies that showed signs of torture and strangulation were found early today.

The discovery comes a day after Iraqi police found 30 decapitated bodies near the city of Baquba.

Earlier reports said the corpses appeared to be the latest victims of sectarian violence that exploded after the bombing of a Shi'ite shrine last month.

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