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Mahdi Army Leader Arrested in Washash
Sunni Militiaman Netted in Plainclothes Op; Shootout in al-'Amil
05/20/2008 4:41 PM ET
Google Earth image/IraqSlogger.com.

Iraqi forces arrested a notable leader of the Mahdi Army militia in the Washash district over the weekend, security sources tell IraqSlogger. The militia boss, known by the name of Dadran, was arrested Sunday by plainclothes officers in a special operation. Locals tell Slogger that the detainee is of Sunni Arab background, but joined the Mahdi Army and is known for leading criminal activities in the Washash area, a stronghold of the militia.

Fighting erupted Sunday morning, in the al-'Amil district of southwestern Baghdad between fighers recognized by locals as Mahdi Army militiamen and US and Iraqi forces after American forces raided houses in the district known to belong to militia members.

During the raids, militiamen attacked the raiding forces from roofs of nearby houses, eyewitnesses say. Three suspected Mahdi Army members were killed, and five were injured in the fighting, locals say, adding that one Iraqi policeman was also killed in the fighting.

At the same time, an IED exploded in a nearby market of al-'Amil district, causing a small fire, locals say.

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