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U.S. Planes, Troops Strike Al-Fallujah

17 October 2004 -- U.S. jets bombed Al-Fallujah today and troops battled insurgents accused of shielding foreign fighters led by Jordanian-born militant leader Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi.

U.S. tanks also fired on insurgents on the eastern edge of the restive Sunni city, but the fighting subsided by dusk.

Four civilians, including a child, were reported killed, although casualty figures remain difficult to ascertain.

In Baghdad, a mortar round hit an arms-collection depot in Al-Sadr City, killing two Iraqi troops and a civilian.

Meanwhile, interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi met with supporters of anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Allawi later said he was pleased that fighters loyal to al-Sadr are surrendering their weapons.

In other violence, Iraqi police today said that nine policemen were ambushed and killed yesterday in Al-Latifiyah, south of Baghdad.


[For the latest news on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".]