Baghdad, Apr 6, (VOI) – Twenty people were killed and 53 others wounded in the clashes that erupted in Sadr City, eastern Baghdad, between U.S. forces and armed groups since Saturday, an Iraqi medic said on Sunday.
"Women and children were among the wounded, according to statistics registered by al-Sadr, Imam Ali and al-Hubaybiya hospitals," the medic, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).
A media source from Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr's office said five civilians from the same family were killed and a number of stores were burned in U.S. attacks that targeted Sadr City on Sunday.
"A man, his wife and three children were killed when a missile landed on their house," the Sadrist source said, not revealing the names of the slain family members or further details.
Inhabitants of Sadr City had said armed confrontations erupted earlier on Sunday in a number of neighborhoods between joint Iraqi-U.S. forces and armed groups, leaving casualties.
A spokesman for the Multi-National Force (MNF) had said a U.S. warplane killed nine gunmen he termed as "criminals" in the city.
Eyewitnesses from Sadr City told VOI that joint Iraqi-U.S. troops pushed deep last night into a number of Sadr City neighborhoods near a fuel station, adding clashes were still continuing.
Ten days ago armed clashed broke out in Baghdad and other southern provinces between government forces and groups of Sadr's Mahdi Army militias hours after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced the commencement of Operation Saulat al-Forsan (Knights' Assault), which he said aimed at eliminating armed groups in the oil-rich port city of Basra, 590 km south of Baghdad.