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British troops clash with Iraqi demonstrators


LONDON (Reuters) - British troops have clashed in Amara with Iraqis protesting against the arrest of a the aide to a radical Shi'ite cleric and the closure of a newspaper, the Ministry of Defence says.

"UK troops with coalition allies had to respond to a demonstration that degenerated into civil disorder", a military spokeswoman said on Sunday.

There were no reports of any casualties among British soldiers during the clashes in the southeastern Iraqi town.

The demonstration by the Iraqis was against the arrest of Mustapha Yacoubi, an aide to a radical Shi'ite cleric, and last week's closure of a U.S. authorities of a militant Baghdad newspaper, the spokeswoman said.

There have been similar demonstrations in Iraq on Sunday. At a military base at Kufa, near Najaf, Spanish-led troops and Iraqi police fought a three-hour gun battle with Iraqi Shi'ite militiamen leaving at least 20 people dead and some 200 wounded

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