The US military claims to have killed 30 suspected militants in a ground and air raid in Baghdad’s Shi’ite slum of Sadr City. However, police in the Iraqi capital put the death toll at 11 and say women and children were among the casualties. The US says its soldiers moved in and called for close air support after a group of armed men tried to attack ground forces. A spokesman said the group was thought to be involved in smuggling roadside bombs from Iran. The operation comes on the eve of a major Shi’ite festival which ended in a bloodbath two years ago. Hundreds of angry mourners marched through the streets of Sadr City as the funerals of the victims got underway. Elsewhere in the country, mortar rounds claimed seven lives in the Sunni town of Samarra. And a British soldier was killed by small arms fire in Basra.
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