US says 11 militants killed south of Baghdad
US forces killed 11 militants during operations early on Thursday in the city of Kut, 170 kilometres southeast of Baghdad, the US military said.
The military said in a statement the operations targeted "special groups criminal networks," a term it often uses to describe members of the the Shi'ite Muslim Mehdi Army militia who receive weapons and funding from Iran.
The operation targeted a militant "reportedly responsible for attacks against coalition forces and supporters of coalition forces", the US military said.
US and Iraqi officials have attributed a sharp drop in violence throughout Iraq in part to a decision by firebrand Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to freeze the activities of his Mehdi Army militia for six months.
"We commend all those who honour Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr's ceasefire pledge," said Major Winfield Danielson, a US military spokesman. (Reuters)
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