Battle rages in Shia Iraqi town

US and Iraqi troops have killed 30 suspected Shia militants during heavy clashes in the southern Iraqi city of Diwaniya, the US military has said.

The fighting erupted as troops went in to arrest a militant responsible for earlier killings, they said.

It is thought the rebels were from cleric Moqtada Sadr’s Mehdi Army, but its officials in Baghdad blamed “rogue elements” out of his control.

In Baghdad, police have found 51 bodies of people who were abducted and killed.

Meanwhile, a 36-hour curfew was lifted in the northern city of Kirkuk following a huge security operation.

Thousands of Iraqi army and police force personnel backed by US-led coalition troops combed Kirkuk for insurgents, while US troops lent helicopter support.

Police said about 180 people were detained and large quantities of arms and ammunition seized.

The BBC’s Jim Muir in Baghdad says tensions have been rising in Kirkuk, which is home to Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens who claim ownership of the city and the oil-rich lands around it.

Some does US towards the whole Iraq and its oil.