Medical, police and Mahdi Army sources said 10 civilians including six from one family were killed and 28, including children, were wounded during a US raid on Karbala early Friday.
Rassak al-Mussawi, a spokesman for the Mahdi Army, which is loyal to the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, said three men were killed in the clashes and seven wounded.
'US soldiers, who used warplanes and Hummer vehicles, raided the house of Mahdi Army official Hamza Matroud in Askari neighbourhood, three kilometres west of Karbala,' al-Musawi told the independent Voices of Iraq news agency.
Al-Musawi did not say whether Matroud had been arrested, but noted that 'this attack indicates that the US forces wanted to shake security in the city.'
Witnesses in Karbala said further fighting erupted between the men and Iraqi soldiers, with casualties on both sides and among civilians, after the US forces withdrew from the area.
The death toll in Thursday's car bomb blast in central Baghdad's Karrada district increased to 60 Friday, with 94 wounded, Iraqi Government military spokesman Qassem Atta said.
But a US military statement claimed the US and Iraqi forces had targeted only a high-level Mahdi Army leader, killing 17 Mahdi men in the process - but with no civilian casualties.
The US military meanwhile said that Iraqi forces and US special advisors had detained a high-level rogue Mahdi Army commander in western Karbala.
The suspect was detained during a raid that took place without incident. Two other were also arrested, the US military said in a statement.
In other news, the US military confirmed Friday that a US soldier had died Thursday as a result of injuries sustained in an explosion near his vehicle during operations in Diyala province, 57 kilometres north of Baghdad.
On Thursday the military had said five US soldiers were killed across Iraq this week while one died in a non-combat related incident.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Temmuz 2007, 19:35