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Iraqi Police, Al-Sadr Militia Clash In Al-Najaf

Imam Al-Mahdi Army fighters (file photo) 10 June 2004 -- Clashes between Iraqi police and fighters loyal to radical Shi's cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the southern Iraqi holy city of Al-Najaf today killed at least two people and wounded more than 20.

The fighting is the first major clash between al-Sadr's Imam Al-Mahdi Army and Iraqi forces which took over security in the city following an agreement last week.

The clashes began overnight when Iraqi police tried to arrest a group of al-Sadr supporters.

U.S. forces were not involved in the fighting.

Under last week's agreement, al-Sadr militiamen pulled back from the rest of Al-Najaf but reportedly remained holed up at several locations in the city center.

The agreement was reached by local Shi'a leaders to end weeks of fighting between al-Sadr supporters and U.S. forces.