BAGHDAD - A company of government troops in retreated when they came under attack from Shiite militiamen who used the cover of a sandstorm, police said Friday.
The clashes overnight killed two people and injured nine, a police commander said. The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to release the information, said it was unclear whether there were any casualties among the soldiers.
The reports of the latest setback for the Iraqi army come after government officials acknowledged that during fighting last month against Shiite militias in the southern city of, more than 1,300 Iraqi soldiers and police deserted or refused to fight.
The police officer said militiamen belonging to theof anti-American cleric launched their attack shortly before midnight on army positions in Sadr City, a sprawling slum area of some 2.5 million people in eastern Baghdad.