Monday, December 13, 2004

Happy Anniversary

An al-Qaida-linked suicide bomber blew up his vehicle Monday near cars waiting to enter the Green Zone, home to the U.S. Embassy and Iraq's interim government, killing 13 Iraqis on the anniversary of Saddam Hussein's capture.
After last month's campaign, U.S. commanders claimed they had broken the insurgency's back in the mainly Sunni Muslim areas of western Iraq, and that they would start phasing in Iraqi security forces to take over. But fighting has persisted.

On Sunday, American jets dropped 10 precision-guided missiles on insurgent positions in Fallujah after insurgents fought running battles with coalition forces.

"We are still running into some of these die-hard insurgents that have either come back into the city or have been laying low," spokesman Lt. Lyle Gilbert said. "As we are bringing in contractors to help with the reconstruction of Fallujah, this (fighting) slows the process down."

Farther west in Ramadi, 10 explosions were heard early Monday. No details were immediately available on what caused them or if there were casualties. The blasts came a day after insurgents and Marines traded artillery fire that killed one woman.

In the northern city of Mosul, a car bomb blast struck a U.S. Stryker brigade patrol Monday, wounding two American soldiers. U.S. troops and gunmen fought gun battles after the blast.

In Tarmiyah, on Baghdad's northern outskirts, three more U.S. troops were wounded in a car bombing that wrecked two Humvees, pieces of which were raised into the air by jubilant Iraqi men who danced around their charred hulks and a large crater blown into the road.


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