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U.S. Forces Set Up Checkpoints Near Al-Fallujah


http://gdb.rferl.org/6EC2E997-0C55-411C-8304-6FEA1681296A_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/6EC2E997-0C55-411C-8304-6FEA1681296A_mw800_mh600.jpg (file photo) 15 October 2004 -- U.S. ground troops deployed around the outskirts of Al-Fallujah following sustained air strikes against insurgent positions there overnight.

Some 1,000 U.S. ground troops, along with tanks and Iraqi special forces, moved into camps and set up vehicle checkpoints. A U.S. military spokesperson in Baghdad told Reuters the deployment "is part of ongoing operations in Fallujah. It is not the beginning of a major offensive."

The deployment comes two days after Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi warned city leaders in Al-Fallujah to hand over foreign fighters there or face a military operation to root them out.

Al-Fallujah is a base for insurgents including Jordanian-born Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi. Al-Zarqawi's group has claimed responsibility for yesterday's suicide bombings that killed at least five people inside Baghdad's Green Zone.

There are mixed reports today about the arrest of senior members of a Fallujah delegation that had been mediating a truce with the government.

In Baghdad, a suicide car bomber killed 10 civilians today near a police station in the southwest of the city.

(Reuters/AFP/AP/dpa)
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