BAGHDAD, Iraq — U.S. troops backed by helicopter gunships battled with insurgents overnight near the southern holy Shiite city of Najaf, killing 43 gunmen and destroying an anti-aircraft system belonging to the insurgents, the U.S. military in Baghdad said Tuesday.
The fighting began Monday night and lasted several hours, a military spokesman said. It came as around 200 U.S. forces made their first deployment inside Najaf, moving into a base that Spanish troops are vacating about three miles from holy shrines near where an anti-American Shiite Muslim cleric is holed up.
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