Company of Iraqi Troops Abandons Position after Attack

(AP PhotoKarim Kadim)
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Baghdad (AP) Police in Baghdad say an Iraqi army unit retreated overnight after coming under attack by Shiite militiamen.

The soldiers abandoned their positions in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr city when the militiamen attacked under the cover of a sandstorm.

Two People Are Reported Killed And Nine Injured In The Clashes.

An Iraqi police officer says the U.S. military provided backup artillery fire but no helicopter gunships or unmanned drones.

Just last month, more than 1,300 Iraqi soldiers and police deserted or refused to fight during an offensive in the southern city of Basra.

The Shiite militia is loyal to cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr (mook-tah'-duh al sah'-dur), who has been denouncing the U.S. occupation. A militia statement today compares the U.S.-backed government of Nouri Al-Maliki to Saddam Hussein's regime and urges government soldiers to desert.