US, Iraqi forces lift al-Sadr siege

US occupation troops and Iraqi forces have withdrawn from the area around Shia Muslim leader Muqtada al-Sadr's house in Najaf city, reported our correspondent.

    Al-Sadr loyalists clashed with US and Iraqi troops in Najaf

    Members of the al-Mahdi Army were deployed around the house after the US and Iraqi forces withdrew on Tuesday.


    The correspondent quoted a US military spokesman denying surrounding al-Sadr's house, saying the occupation troops were only responding to clashes that erupted in Najaf after a US patrol came under gunfire.

     

    An Iraqi woman was killed and 13 people including six members of the al-Mahdi Army were injured in the clashes, an al-Sadr spokesman said.

     

    Witness account

    Earlier, an AFP correspondent reported witnessing US occupation troops surrounding the home of al-Sadr.

    US armoured vehicles, backed by Iraqi security forces, cordoned off the Al-Zahra neighbourhood, where al-Sadr's home is located in the eastern part of the city, AFP said.

    Smoke was seen rising from the area amid the sound of heavy gunfire, mortar fire and rocket-propelled grenade explosions.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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