Page last updated at 13:32 GMT, Tuesday, 29 April 2008 14:32 UK

Casualties mount in Baghdad clash

Mourners carry a coffin containing a victim of clashes in Sadr City, Baghdad, 29 April 2008
The death toll has climbed as the Baghdad clashes go on

At least 28 militants have been killed during battles in the Sadr City area of Baghdad, the US military has said.

The deaths come during intensified fighting in the Iraqi capital between militants loyal to Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr and US and Iraqi forces.

The US military said a number of its soldiers had been wounded during Tuesday's fighting.

Clashes flared up on Sunday after militia members attacked coalition positions during a sandstorm.

Last week Moqtada Sadr told his supporters that while they should continue "resisting" what he called the US "occupation" of Iraq, they should not fight Iraqis.

But he has also rejected the Iraqi government's conditions for ending a crackdown on Shia militias.

These include militias handing in their weapons and handing over fighters wanted by the authorities.

Stream of injured

Sadr City is a slum considered to be a bastion of the forces loyal to Moqtada Sadr.

Doctors in the area's two hospitals said on Tuesday that they had received a stream of casualties throughout the day, the BBC's Patrick Howse reported from Baghdad.

More than 50 people had been injured in the fighting, the doctors said.

Meanwhile, militants continued to use rockets and mortars to bombard the Green Zone, the complex in Baghdad that houses government buildings and foreign embassies.

On Monday, four US soldiers were killed by rocket and mortar fire in the east of the capital.

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