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Iraqi Premier Extends Curfew To Baghdad


9 November 2004 -- Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has imposed a nighttime curfew on Baghdad for an indefinite period, as more than 10,000 U.S. soldiers continued a ground offensive against insurgents in Al-Fallujah, west of the capital.

The announcement from Allawi's office today came one day after the prime minister imposed a round-the-clock curfew in Al-Fallujah and the nearby insurgent stronghold of Al-Ramadi, and closed the capital's international airport for 48 hours.

In Al-Ramadi, located some 100 kilometers west of Baghdad, armed insurgents took up positions in the center of town. Residents contacted by telephone said there was no sign of U.S. troops in the center of the city.

In Al-Fallujah, U.S. planes today continued bombing suspected targets as U.S. soldiers -- along with a smaller number of Iraqi troops -- moved into the city and searched buildings for insurgents.

There have been no definitive casualty figures today. Doctors say at least 12 people were killed in fighting in Al-Fallujah yesterday, the first day of the offensive.

(Reuters/AFP/AP/dpa)

[For the latest news on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".]
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