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Iraqi Insurgents Launch Rocket Attack, U.S. Military Raids Tikrit

Baghdad, 9 January 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Insurgents in Iraq today fired rockets at a hotel in central Baghdad used by foreigners, causing minor damage but no injuries, as U.S. troops carried out a raid in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit overnight.

The U.S. military says more than 300 soldiers searched 20 homes and three shops before dawn today as armored vehicles sealed off roads to Tikrit. Thirteen Iraqis were detained on suspicions of involvement in attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces.

The raid comes after two apparent attacks on U.S. aircraft yesterday.

Nine soldiers died after their Black Hawk helicopter crash-landed near Al-Fallujah.

Later, a U.S. military cargo plane was forced to return to Baghdad shortly after takeoff after one of its engines was hit by fire. None of the 63 passengers aboard the C-5 aircraft was hurt.

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