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U.S. Says 36 Killed In Fighting Near Syrian Border


http://gdb.rferl.org/A0538564-3D06-4721-B70C-0C591EADAE56_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/A0538564-3D06-4721-B70C-0C591EADAE56_mw800_mh600.jpg 3 October 2005 -- The United States military in Iraq says it has counted 36 insurgents who were killed on 1 and 2 October during a U.S.-led anti-militant offensive under way in towns near the Syrian border.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq has meanwhile reportedly threatened in an Internet statement to kill two American Marines the group claims it captured during the fighting.

The U.S. military has reported no missing soldiers and said the Al-Qaeda claim appears false.

HRW Say Insurgents Committing War Crimes

In other developments, the Human Rights Watch group says insurgent groups in Iraq are committing war crimes by targeting civilians with mass killings, abductions, and beheadings.

The organization, which has previously criticized alleged abuses by U.S. forces in Iraq, said armed militant groups as well as governments must respect the laws of war. The group called on Islamic religious and political leaders to condemn insurgent attacks targeting civilians.

(AP/Reuters/AFP)

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