BAGHDAD (AFP) – Two militants were arrested in Baghdad’s Shiite enclave of Sadr City after it was targeted in a US air strike, the American military said on Sunday.
The strike was carried out during Saturday’s raid as Iraqi and US troops came under fire in the Shiite bastion, which is a stronghold of the Mahdi Army militia loyal to radical anti-US cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
“As ground forces approached the targeted area, they began receiving fire. Ground forces called for air support and coalition aircraft delivered munitions, suppressing enemy fire,” the military said.
“No one was wounded during the raid. One building received minor damage during the air strike,” it said, adding that “two suspected terrorists were detained” in the raid.
Since the launch of a security crackdown in Baghdad, US troops have gained a foothold in Sadr City, as most of the militia fighters have either disappeared or are lying low to avoid confrontation with troops.
The US military accuses the Mahdi militia of carrying out brutal attacks on the Sunni Arabs of the capital as part of the sectarian bloodletting that has engulfed Iraq.