29 December 2004 -- U.S. troops backed by warplanes battled insurgents in the Iraqi city of Mosul today, killing around 25 guerrillas after being attacked by suicide bombs and rocket-propelled grenades.
A military spokesman said a suicide vehicle bomb exploded near a U.S. military outpost in Mosul, and a second suicide attack targeted a U.S. patrol responding to the first blast.
This evening, armed men burst into a house in Baghdad and seized two Lebanese businessman.
At least 28 people were killed in an explosion in the capital Baghdad overnight. The explosion was apparently triggered when a police unit was lured into a trap laid by insurgents.
At his Texas home, U.S. President George W. Bush today said that it is crucial for Iraq to push ahead with its planned 30 January elections. He said most people in Iraq want to vote, and that the main task now is to provide as much security as possible to ensure the election can be held on time.
(compiled from wire reports)[For the latest news on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".]