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U.S. Reinforces Troops Outside Al-Fallujah

29 April 2004 -- The U.S. military has sent more tanks and armored vehicles to Iraq to back up forces launching attacks against the Sunni stronghold of Al-Fallujah.

U.S. Marine Corps Major General John Sattler said commanders fighting insurgents in Al-Fallujah had requested additional support for their air and ground strikes, which continued overnight. But U.S. officers said they were holding back from an all-out assault, hoping that insurgents might yet turn in their heavy weapons.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan yesterday urged the U.S. military to exercise restraint, saying violent military action will only make matters worse.

Meanwhile, 2,500 U.S. troops continue to surround the Shi'ite holy city of Al-Najaf, where anti-coalition cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is staying, protected by his militia.

Near the southern city of Al-Kut, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and a third was wounded in an ambush.


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