Baghdad: Iraqi officials say heavy clashes between security forces and Sunni insurgents have killed at least 21 troops south of Baghdad.
Police officials say the fighting raged for hours Saturday near the town of Jurf al-Sakhar, some 50 kilometres south of the capital. The town is part of a predominantly Sunni ribbon that runs just south of Baghdad.
The officials say dozens of militants were killed and several captured during the fighting.
Hospital officials confirmed the government forces` casualty figures.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were authorized to brief the media.