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U.S. Forces Push Deeper Into Al-Fallujah

10 November 2004 -- Some 10,000 U.S. soldiers, along with 2,000 Iraqi troops, are continuing efforts today to seize full control of the Iraqi city of Al-Fallujah from insurgents.

A U.S. military source, Major Francis Piccoli, said the military now controls 70 percent of the city.

The U.S. military said at least 10 U.S. troops and two Iraqi soldiers have died since the offensive began on 8 November, and some 70 insurgents have been killed in the past day.

In Baghdad, Iraqi officials are trying to get more information on the kidnapping late yesterday of three members of interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's family.

Muna Ali, a member of Allawi's Iraqi National Accord party, today told RFE/RL that a cousin of the prime minister, the cousin's wife, and the man's daughter-in-law were seized by armed men while leaving their house in Baghdad.

"The information that we have received most recently is that the kidnapping victims are Mr. Ghazi Allawi, his wife, and his daughter-in-law," Ali said. "They were kidnapped when they were going out of their home in [Baghdad's southwestern neighborhood of] Al-Qadisiyah."

An Islamist group, Ansar al-Jihad, claimed responsibility for the abduction in an Internet statement. The group said it will kill them in 48 hours unless the raid on Al-Fallujah is halted and prisoners are freed. The statement could not be verified.


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