At least 20 gunmen and 8 civilians were killed Monday when the Iraqi Army battled fiercely for hours with members of a militia loyal to Moktada al-Sadr … The American military announced Monday the deaths of nine American service members in attacks on Sunday. In Baghdad, a car bomb killed at least 13 people on Monday and wounded dozens at a checkpoint just outside the Interior Ministry headquarters. Over all, more than 100 Iraqis were killed Sunday and Monday.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene in which combatants fought through the streets using machine guns, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. At one point during the battle, which began Sunday night and raged into Monday, militiamen executed a dozen Iraqi soldiers who had run out of ammunition.
Monday’s clashes erupted after Iraqi soldiers, backed by Polish troops, attempted to raid three neighborhoods controlled by the Mahdi Army. The fighting began after midnight as explosions and gunfire rattled different parts of the city … By late afternoon, the fighting had subsided. It was soon clear who had won. “The city is fully controlled by [Sadr] now,” said Ahmed Fadhil … “There are no police or Iraqi army in the streets of the city. I can see only the gunmen of Mahdi Army in the streets”.