US and Iraqi forces killed 250 gunmen in a fierce battle involving US tanks and helicopters on the outskirts of the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Sunday, a senior Iraqi police officer said.
A US helicopter was shot down in the fighting, Iraq security sources said. The US military later confirmed this. Shi'ite political sources said the gunmen appeared to be both Sunni Arabs and Shiites loyal to a cleric called Ahmed Hassani. (Reuters)