5 November 2004 -- The U.S. military in Iraq has reportedly sealed off Al-Fallujah in central Iraq and launched a night of air strikes on that rebel-held city.
The military said today that U.S. aircraft destroyed a command post, arms caches, and rebel positions in the strikes, which hospital officials said killed three people.
Residents said troops have cut all roads in and out of the city.
Spokesmen for U.S. forces say they are preparing a major offensive against insurgents in Fallujah as part of an effort to enable elections to be held in all of Iraq in January.
In other news, a Nepali cook kidnapped in Iraq earlier this week has been released, and two Lebanese held hostage for more than a month are back home.