US-led forces killed dozens of supporters loyal to cleric
Moqtada Sadr in a night of fighting in Iraq that saw one of his key lieutenants arrested in a raid on his home in the holy city of Najaf. Sayyed Ryad
al-Nuri, is wanted in connection with the murder of cleric Abdel Majid Al Khoi in April 2003, and is being handed over to Iraqi authorities Nuri was
arrested at his Najaf home at 4:00am (midnight GMT) without a fight in a series of coordinated raids on the homes of key Sadr aides. However, hospital
sources in Sadr City said only one dead person and 20 wounded had been brought in overnight.
more Top aide seized
Iraqi sources said Sayyed Ryad al-Nuri, a close aide to the Mehdi Army's leader, was taken without a fight during raids in the city.
But a battle raged through the night in Najaf's vast cemetery, with US sources reporting about 50 gunmen killed. In Baghdad, some 20 of Mr Sadr's
armed followers are also said to have died.
US tanks and helicopter gunships sought out positions of the Mehdi Army (MA), who fought back with rocket-propelled grenades and mortars. A Sadr
spokesman talked of a "true slaughter house" among the tombs.
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