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US says 35 militia killed in al-Sadr City
The US occupation force in Iraq claims to have killed 35 members of Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia.
The fighters were killed in a series of clashes in Baghdad's al-Sadr City suburb overnight, US spokesman Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt said on Monday.
He said the two sides fought running battles in the alleyways of the impoverished neighbourhood before and after US forces destroyed al-Sadr's office in the area.
Mahdi Army commanders say US spokesmen exaggerate militia casualties.
The office was destroyed by a combination of gunfire from tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and "perhaps helicopters", he said.
Local witnesses said earlier the office had been flattened by a bomb dropped from one of the US warplanes in the air at the time.