BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ U.S. forces raided the homes of followers of radical anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr late Monday, and U.S. jets were firing rockets on the northwest Baghdad neighborhood, residents said. Police put the death toll at five, though an aide to the cleric said nine people were killed.
The U.S. military said it had no immediate comment.
Jalil al-Nouri, a senior al-Sadr aide, told The Associated Press by telephone that ``occupation forces are currently carrying out raids against al-Sadr's followers in the neighborhood of Shula.''
Al-Nouri said nine people were killed and others were wounded. Police Lt. Mohammed Kheyoun said five were killed and 15 wounded.
Al-Nouri spoke of gun battles between residents and U.S. troops using tanks and armored personnel carriers. He said U.S. Apache helicopters as well as warplanes were involved in the attacks on Shula.
Kheyoun said he saw U.S. helicopters over the area.
The drone of propeller-driven planes could be heard across Baghdad, and flashes could be seen in the air over the north of the city.