US, Iraqi forces kill 22 gunmen in Baghdad

April 28th, 2008 - 3:54 pm ICT by admin  

Baghdad, April 28 (DPA) Iraqi and US troops killed 22 Shia gunmen who attacked a security checkpoint in north-eastern part of the capital, the US military said Monday. Iraqi and US army troops manning a security checkpoint were attacked early Sunday by a large group of “criminals” using small arms fire, according to a military statement.

US soldiers used tank fire and small arms fire to kill the 22 gunmen, forcing others to retreat, the statement said.

The US military uses the term criminals to describe fighters from the Mahdi army militia of radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

The militia has been engaging in deadly fighting with Iraqi and US troops in Shia dominated areas in east and north-east Baghdad, mainly in Sadr City.

Al-Sadr has rejected Sunday preconditions set by the Iraqi government for talks to end fighting.

The government made talks with Al-Sadr conditional on his fighters handing over their arms, ending their interference in the government’s affairs, handing over fighters wanted by the authorities and providing names of those involved in violence.

But a spokesman for Al-Sadr rejected those conditions.

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