(dpa) - Militants in Iraq killed on Friday the brother-in- law of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in the city of Najaf, some 180 kilometres south of the capital Baghdad, Sadrist sources said.
Sources in al-Sadr's office told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that Riyad al-Nuri, one of al-Sadr's closest aides, was killed by militants but no further details were given.
Sources added that al-Nuri was married to al-Sadr's sister.
In other news, US airstrikes targeted houses in the Hussein district of Basra, some 550 kilometres south of Baghdad, killing one member of al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia and wounding three civilians, witnesses said.
In another development, US helicopters continued Friday to attack the Sadr City area of east Baghdad, witnesses told dpa.
Loud explosions could be heard in Sadr City, a stronghold of the Mahdi Army, which has been encircled by US and Iraqi troops since March 25.
Sadrist sources told dpa that joint US-Iraqi forces attacked the office of al-Sadr in the Nomaneiya area in the city of Kut, some 170 kilometres south of the Iraqi capital.
The troops burnt the office after killing the Sadrists inside it, the Sadrist sources said.