Iraqi and U.S. troops are ordering Sunni Muslim security volunteers in a
Baghdad district to turn in their weapons, after the arrest of their local
leader sparked deadly gun battles.
The troops used loudspeakers Sunday to
order members of the local "Awakening Council" to stop fighting, or be arrested.
Despite the warning, sporadic shooting continued in Baghdad's Fadhil
The clashes broke out Saturday after police arrested Adil
al-Mashhadani the group's district leader and one of his aides on terrorism
At least two bystanders and a policeman were killed, and 15
other people were wounded. Local officials say five Iraqi soldiers were missing
after Saturday's fighting.
The Awakening Councils, also known as Sons of
Iraq, are made up of former Sunni insurgents who are now helping U.S. and Iraqi
troops fight al-Qaida in Iraq.
The U.S.-backed groups have been credited
with drastically reducing violence in Iraq, but deep mistrust remains between
the Sunni fighters and Iraq's Shi'ite-led government.
government last year assumed responsibility from the U.S. military for paying
the more than 90,000 security volunteers.
Some information for this report was provided by
AFP, AP and Reuters.