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US troops kill 10 militiamen in Baghdad: military

US troops kill 10 militiamen as they plant roadside bombs in eastern Baghdad, just outside the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City.
AFP | By HT Correspondent, Baghdad
UPDATED ON MAY 28, 2008 10:53 PM IST

US troops killed 10 militiamen as they planted roadside bombs in eastern Baghdad on Wednesday, just outside the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, the American military said.

"Coalition forces killed 10 special group extremists in Baghdad after positively identifying that they were conducting militant activities, primarily Improvised Explosive Device emplacement," a statement said.

The US military has coined the term "special groups" to describe gunmen it says are trained by Iranians to direct attacks against US-led troops and incite sectarian violence in Iraq. Iran consistently denies any involvement.

The Americans first claimed the victims were killed in an operation planned and led by Iraqi troops, but later said coalition forces carried out the pre-dawn attack, which also left one militia member wounded.

Meanwhile, in Sadr City itself, Iraqi troops have seized a large quantity of weapons, explosives and ammunition during the past eight days, the US military added.

Authorities discovered 88 roadside bombs, 201 rocket propelled grenades, 34 artillery rounds, 18 tank rounds, 144 mortar rounds and 107 anti-tank mines.

Fighters from radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army fought deadly street battles with US forces in Sadr City for seven weeks until a May 10 truce deal between Sadr and the government took effect.

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