23 killed in clashes between Shiite militia and Iraqi army in southern Iraq

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The Independent Online

Clashes between members of a powerful Shiite militia and Iraqi army in the southern city of Diwaniyah have left at least 23 people dead and 70 injured, an army officer said Monday.

The fighting broke out at about 11 p.m. Sunday when the Iraqi army conducted raids in three neighborhoods to flush out extremists and seize weapons, said army Capt. Fatik Aied. The fighting continued Monday, he said, adding that the dead included 15 soldiers, six civilians and two militiamen of the Mahdi Army, which is controlled by radical anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.