As many as 36 people were killed in a fierce battle early Monday between Shiite militiamen and British forces doing house-to-house searches south of Baghdad, Iraqi police and hospital officials said. The clashes took place in Amarah, 320 kilometers southeast of Baghdad, the officials said. A doctor at the city's general hospital said 36 bodies had been taken to his facility, though he could not determine how many were militiamen and how many were civilians. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to media. The British military could not immediately comment on the reports.