Reuters: 'U.S. and Iraqi forces killed 250 gunmen in a fierce battle involving U.S. tanks and helicopters on the outskirts of the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf on Sunday, a senior Iraqi police officer said. The day-long battle was continuing after nightfall, Colonel Ali Nomas told Reuters, as tens of thousands of pilgrims converged on the nearby city of Kerbala for the climax of the Ashura commemorations. A U.S. helicopter was shot down in the fighting, Iraq security sources said. The U.S. military declined comment. A Reuters reporter saw a helicopter come down trailing smoke.'
Wizbang: 'The US military isn't commenting on the helicopter that crashed because the mission is still ongoing, but I expect we'll have more successful missions where we send terrorists to their waiting virgins. The question is will the media actually report on our and the Iraqi troops' successes or will they completely ignore them?'
Debka: 'The US military confirmed the downing of the helicopter and the death of the two-man crew in fighting near Najef as hundreds of thousands of Shiite pilgrims converged on the Shiite shrine city of Karbala for the Ashura festival marking the 7th-century Battle of Karbala. The governor of Najef said Iraqi troops fought all day with hundreds of Sunni gunmen, including foreign fighters, who had plotted to murder Shiite clergy on the 10th day of the festival which falls on Monday. About twenty were captured, including a Sudanese national. They said they belonged to the Army of Imam Ahmed al-Yemeni.'
LGF thread here.