U.S. and Iraqi forces raided Baghdad's Sadr City Shiite stronghold on Tuesday, detaining seven members of a militia, including one who is suspected of having information about an American soldier who was kidnapped last month, the military said.
Police Capt. Mohammed Ismail said three Iraqis, including a young boy, were killed and 15 wounded during the early morning raid.
A Shiite legislator, cradling the dead child's body, told reporters outside a hospital morgue that Iraq's government should be condemned for allowing such attacks.
"I am suspending my membership in Parliament since it remains silent about crimes such as this against the Iraqi people," said Saleh Al-Ukailli. "I will not return to parliament until the occupation troops leave the country."
The body of the boy was wrapped in a bloodstained cloth. Only the boy's face was visible.
Nearby, minivans left carrying two wooden caskets on their roofs.
In the same area, the windows of four parked vehicles had been smashed, and Ismail said several homes also were damaged during the raid.
Al-Ukailli is one of 30 legislators in Iraq's 275-member parliament who are followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, the anti-American Shiite cleric whose main offices are based in Sadr City.
The U.S. command said Iraqi forces were attacked with small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades during the raid, and that U.S. aircraft returned the fire of enemy forces on the ground. It said no coalition casualties were reported, and "civilian and enemy casualties could not be determined."
Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie, a 41-year-old reserve soldier from Ann Arbor, Michigan, was visiting his Iraqi wife in Baghdad on Oct. 23 when gunmen handcuffed him and took him away.
The U.S. command said the raid "detained an illegal armed group kidnapping and murder cell leader ... reported to have firsthand knowledge of the control and movement" of al-Taayie.
Six other suspected cell members also were detained, the military said.
It was the third such raid in four days by U.S. and Iraqi forces on Sadr City, the headquarters of the Madhi Army, the Shiite militia suspected of having carried out the mass kidnapping at a Ministry of Higher Education office in Baghdad on Nov. 14.
Dozens of suspected Shiite militia gunmen in police uniforms kidnapped scores of people during the raid at the ministry, which is predominantly Sunni Arab.
That attack was as another example of widespread revenge killings and kidnappings that are taking place between Iraq's majority Shiites and minority Sunnis, leaving Iraq on the brink of a sectarian civil war.
The Madhi Army is al-Sadr's heavily armed militia, which claims Sadr City as its headquarters.
A rogue cell from the Mahdi Army militia also is suspected of having captured al-Taayie.
Elsewhere in Baghdad on Tuesday, a taxi left Yarmouk Hospital's morgue in western Baghdad with a wooden casket carrying Iraq's famous Shiite comedian Walid Hassan to a funeral in Najaf, the holy Shiite city south of Baghdad.
Grieving relatives and colleagues gathered near the casket as it was tied to the roof of the taxi, including several crying women wearing head-to-toe black gowns.
Haasan, 47, a star of "Caricature," a popular Iraqi show on Al-Sharqiyah TV known for its dark humor about the country's many problems, was shot to death while driving through Baghdad on Monday. He was the father of five children.
His weekend television show poked fun at issues such as Iraq's poor security, long gas lines, electricity blackouts and ineffective politicians _ desperately needed comic relief to many Iraqi fans.