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Iraq: Fighting Reported Near Baghdad


Al-Fallujah, Iraq; 11 September 2003 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. forces were reportedly in a large battle 30 kilometers west of the Iraqi city of Al-Fallujah today. Reports were conflicting as to casualties but witnesses said shooting lasted more than one hour. Witnesses said a vehicle belonging to U.S. forces apparently broke down and masked men started shooting at U.S. troops as they tried to repair it.

U.S. officials could not confirm any fighting in that region.

U.S. officials said earlier today that rocket-propelled grenades struck a hotel in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul today, wounding two U.S. soldiers.

In the Turkish capital Ankara, Ahmad Chalabi, this month's rotating president of the Iraqi Governing Council, met with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and other top Turkish officials. They are considering a U.S. request to send Turkish peacekeepers to Iraq. Chalabi has said that Turkish peacekeepers would be welcomed if they deployed away from Kurdish areas.

The foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- France, Russia, China, the United States, and Britain -- have scheduled a meeting in Geneva on 13 September to discuss a U.S.-drafted resolution giving UN approval for a multinational force in Iraq under U.S. control.

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