US and Iraqi troops kept watch over the town of Salman Pak southeast of Baghdad after one of the biggest battles with insurgents that left dozens dead and scores wounded.
The battles on Thursday saw rebels firing rockets, mortars and machine guns in a full-scale assault on a police station in the town that lies in a region dubbed the triangle of death because of the number of insurgent attacks.
US helicopters were sent to the scene and opened fired to dislodge the rebels. The town was sealed off on Friday by Iraqi and US troops but police said it was calm.
Raids by government security forces appear to have triggered the battle.
"According to our latest toll there were 10 police killed and 75 wounded," a Salman Pak police officer told AFP. He added that 46 police vehicles were destroyed and that the fighting lasted several hours.
National Security Advisor Qassem Daoud said that 20 insurgents had been killed and 21 arrested.
"We have never seen such fighting," said the police officer in Salman Pak.
"Now the interior ministry quick reaction forces and American soldiers are in control."
Proactive and quick reaction. Cool.
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