Iraqi police say 14 Shi'ite gunmen have been killed during clashes in southern Iraq. A police officer says the fighting broke out before dawn near Nassiriyah as Iraqi forces were conducting house-to-house searches in the area. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information. The city is a stronghold of anti-US cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. It has seen frequent fighting amid a fierce power struggle between rival Shiite factions. But Wednesday's street battles were the first intense clashes to break out since a cease-fire by al-Sadr following US-backed Iraqi military offensives in the southern city of Basra and Baghdad's Sadr City district.