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Fighting Breaks Out Again In Al-Fallujah

Al-Fallujah, Iraq; 13 April 2004 (RFE/RL) -- A delicate cease-fire in the Iraqi city of Al-Fallujah broke today.

A U.S. Marine and nine Iraqis died in fighting and insurgent fire forced a U.S. helicopter down. A physician at Al-Fallujah's main hospital said the hospital has admitted 38 wounded, including three women and four children.

There were clashes also in other cities and towns and the U.S. Army said that some convoys bringing supplies for U.S. troops had been delayed until better security can be developed for them.

At the United Nations today, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that because of deteriorating security in Iraq he might be unable to send a large UN team back to the country to help plan for an interim government to take over on 30 June, and for elections next year.

"For the foreseeable future, insecurity is going to be a major constraint for us [in Iraq]," Annan said. "And so I cannot say right now that I am going to be sending in a large UN team."

Hostage taking has become a major problem for coalition forces. Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman Don Senor said in Baghdad today that Iraqi insurgents are holding 40 foreign hostages from 12 countries.

The French Foreign Ministry said today that a French television cameraman was taken hostage on Sunday. Four Italians working as private security guards for a U.S. company were reported missing today and video footage showing the captured men was broadcast on international television networks.