Official: Iran opens 5 border crossings

Updated: 2007-10-08 20:09

The September 16 incident was one of at least six involving deaths allegedly caused by Blackwater that authorities here have brought to the attention of the Americans.

Separately, US troops killed five and detained three suspected rogue Shiite militants early Monday in eastern Baghdad after they came under attack during an operation targeting a cell involved in kidnappings and attacks with armor-piercing roadside bombs known as explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, the military said.

The raid occurred in Sadr City, a district controlled by the Shiite militia loyal to the radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who in August announced a "freeze" of his militia activities for up to six months to allow for its restructuring.

However, it is unclear how much control he maintains over his fighters as groups have splintered from the main movement and attacks on US and Iraqi forces by rogue Shiite elements, which the US military says are funded by Iran, have increased.

US military spokesman Maj. Winfield Danielson said al-Sadr's commitment was welcome.

"We will continue to show restraint in dealing with those who honor his pledge. We will not show the same restraint against those criminals who dishonor this pledge by attacking security forces and Iraqi citizens," Danielson said.

The US military also said Monday that American soldiers detained 17 suspected insurgents during a combat operation two days ago in Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad. The suspects were said to be members of a mortar cell wanted for launching attacks into Baghdad.

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