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U.S. Forces Kill 'Large Number' Of Militia In Al-Najaf

(file photo) 26 May 2004 -- The U.S. military today said that its forces in Iraq killed "a very large number" of militiamen in overnight fighting in the city of Al-Najaf.

Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt said U.S. forces killed "less than 100" militiamen loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Najaf, and also killed "less than 30" in Baghdad's "Sadr City."

U.S. forces want to arrest al-Sadr and defeat his militia before an interim Iraqi government takes over on June 30.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Tony Blair today said that he and U.S. President George W. Bush are in full agreement on the command structure of foreign troops in Iraq after a new interim Iraqi government assumes sovereignty on June 30.

Blair also said: "We [Blair and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell] are both absolutely agreed there should be full sovereignty transferred to the Iraqi people and that the multinational force should remain under American command. That is natural since they have the vast bulk of the soldiers."