Iraq soldiers 224.88.
(photo credit: AP [Illustrative photo])
US troops killed five and detained three suspected rogue Shi'ite insurgents in an operation in eastern Baghdad early Monday meant to provide support for local reconciliation efforts, the military said.
The operation targeted a commander of a rogue Shi'ite group suspected of involvement in a kidnapping network and attacks by armor-piercing roadside bombs known as explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, the military said.
The military statement said US troops took small-arms fire upon arrival at the targeted suspect's location and responded, killing four gunmen and wounding three. Another suspect was killed as he attempted to plant a roadside bomb in the path of US soldiers.
Earlier, an Iraqi police official reported a lower toll in what he described as a joint Iraqi-US troops raid on Sadr City in eastern Baghdad.
The official said two men were killed and four wounded, while four others were arrested. The discrepancy in the numbers could not be immediately reconciled.
The operation in Sadr City, the capital's sprawling Shi'ite slum in northeastern Baghdad and base of the Mahdi Army, took place before dawn with support of US helicopters, the Iraqi official said.
Sadr City is controlled by the Shi'ite armed group loyal to the radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who in August announced a "freeze" of his group's activities for up to six months to allow for its restructuring.
However, it is unclear how much control he maintains over his fighters as groups have splintered from the main movement and attacks on US and Iraqi forces by rogue Shi'ite elements, which the US military says are funded by Iran, have increased.
"We continue to support the Government of Iraq in welcoming the commitment by Muqtada al-Sadr to stop attacks, and we will continue to show restraint in dealing with those who honor his pledge," US army spokesman Maj. Winfield Danielson said Monday. "We will not show the same restraint against those criminals who dishonor this pledge by attacking security forces and Iraqi citizens. Coalition forces will take the necessary action against these criminals to protect the Iraqi people against future terrorist acts."