Overnight clashes in Sadr City have killed two people and wounded 25, including five children, despite a reported cease-fire in the Iraqi capital's sprawling Shiite slum, Iraqi health officials said on Monday.
The clashes erupted in Sadr City around last midnight, marring the first day of a reported cease-fire between factions of Muqtada al-Sadr's political movement, who are thought to have influence over the extremists, and the Iraqi government.
Nasar al-Rubaie, a Sadrist lawmaker, said talks on final touches to the agreement were continuing today. Al-Rubaie said he could not comment on the latest clashes in Sadr City.
The health officials could not provide a breakdown for casualties and it was not clear if there were any militants among them. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
The clashes came several hours after US military spokesman Rear Adm Patrick Driscoll warned on Sunday that a truce had not yet been brokered and that the Iraqi government and Shiite representatives were still talking.
There as no immediate comment today from the Iraqi government. The US military expressed hope for a diplomatic solution to seven weeks of fighting in Baghdad's Sadr City that houses nearly half the capital's six million people.
The US military has repeatedly said its clashes are with rogue elements of al-Sadr's Mahdi Arm. The bulk of the Mahdi Army is not believed to have participated in the fighting, instead adhering to a general ceasefire ordered by al-Sadr last August.