The US military said it killed 49 gunmen today in a Sadr City raid aimed at capturing an Iranian-linked rebel leader suspected of kidnapping coalition members and foreigners. But Iraqi witnesses pin the death toll at 13, including two toddlers, Reuters reports. Military officials were mum on whether the rogue Mehdi Army foreman was apprehended.
He is accused of seeking funds from Iran, and abducting a US Army translator, three American troops, and five Britons—including a civilian. Ground forces deny witnessing any civilian deaths in the Shia stronghold, but local hospitals received 12 corpses and 65 wounded, including eight women and children. One official called the raid "simply barbaric."