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Baghdad Security Remains Elusive

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Baghdad Security Remains Elusive

Iraq

Baghdad Security Remains Elusive

Baghdad Security Remains Elusive

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Another spasm of fighting broke out in Baghdad over the past two days, in and around the sprawling slum known as Sadr City. The fighting comes as U.S. and Iraqi forces launch a new effort to restore security to the Iraqi capital.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.

More fighting broke out in Baghdad over the past two days, in and around the sprawling slum known as Sadr City. The fighting comes as U.S. and Iraqi forces launch a new effort to restore security to the Iraqi capital.

NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Baghdad.

COREY FLINTOFF reporting:

Some of the heaviest fighting took place around Al-Hamsa(ph) Square, as U.S. and Iraqi forces raided a stronghold of the Shiite Mahdi Army, fighters loyal to the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Aides to al-Sadr say U.S. aircraft attacked buildings in the central part of Sadr City.

The city's police chief says air strikes destroyed at least three houses and some nearby cars. In addition to those killed, he says, the attack wounded at least a dozen people, including five women and children. He said the fighting stopped after Mahdi Army fighters received orders on their mobile phones to stand down.

The U.S. military says the raid was aimed at catching militants who were believed to be running torture cells. They said one U.S. soldier was wounded.

The U.S. military has moved a 3,700 member striker brigade into Baghdad in an effort to reclaim the streets from factional militias and death squads. Military officials also announced that three more American soldiers were killed yesterday by a roadside bomb, but there were no further details.

Police in the northern city of Tikrit say a suicide bomber killed ten people there when he blew himself up in the midst of a crowd of mourners at a funeral.

Corey Flintoff, NPR News, Baghdad.

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