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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Forces Hit Militia in Baghad

BAGHDAD -- U.S.-led forces swooped into the Shiite militia stronghold of Sadr City on Wednesday, killing 32 suspected militants in fighting and an airstrike. Iraqi police and witnesses said nine civilians were killed.

The U.S. military statement said it targeted fighters who smuggle arms from Iran and facilitate the travel of Iraqi militants to Iran for training.

The military said 12 suspects also were detained in the raid on breakaway factions of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's al-Mahdi Army.

The statement said the main suspect targeted in the raid was a liaison between Iraqi fighters and Iran's elite Quds Force, which is accused of arming and training the militants. Iran has denied allegations that it is supporting the violence in Iraq.

The military account of the raid said U.S. and Iraqi ground forces came under sporadic small-arms fire as they targeted a group of buildings in Sadr City, the sprawling Shiite district in eastern Baghdad. The troops killed two armed men believed to be lookouts, then detained 12 militia fighters, the military said.

Attack helicopters and warplanes then struck after spotting a vehicle and a large group of armed men on foot who were trying to attack the ground forces.

n The Pentagon has asked Congress for nearly $750 million to airlift urgently needed armored vehicles to U.S. troops facing roadside bombs in Iraq, the USA Today newspaper reported Wednesday. (AP, Reuters)