(dpa) - British and US special forces are engaged in operations in Basra in southern Iraq against Shia militiamen, reported the BBC on Wednesday, citing a Western military source.
The aim of the operation is to detain senior figures in the Mehdi Army and other Shia militias, and members of a local tribe, according to the BBC.
The US military has confirmed that a marine was killed and another wounded in a roadside bomb attack in Basra on Monday.
In the past two weeks up to 1,000 US soldiers have been deployed to Basra from other parts Iraq and the Mideast to support the 4,100 British troops there.
For the past four weeks fighting between militias and Iraqi security forces have intensified and spread from Basra to other parts of the Iraq, killing hundreds of people.