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Al-Fallujah Offensive Continues

11 November 2004 -- U.S. warplanes and artillery bombarded Al-Fallujah today as U.S. and Iraqi ground troops continue fighting to drive militants from the city.

The U.S. military has estimated that 600 insurgents have been killed in the offensive so far.

Major General Richard Natonski, the commander of the Al-Fallujah operation, said that 18 U.S. troops and five Iraqi soldiers have been killed in action since the start of the operation.

Natonski said the operation was "ahead of schedule" and coalition troops were conducting house-to-house "clearing operations" in the city.

More than 100 U.S. soldiers wounded during the offensive arrived at the main U.S. military hospital in Germany today. The soldiers joined 125 wounded who arrived earlier this week at the hospital. The hospital has expanded its intensive care unit and surgical wards to cope with the stream of patients.

Meanwhile, U.S. President George W. Bush, speaking at a Veterans Day ceremony in Arlington, Virginia, paid tribute to the U.S. troops taking part in the operation.

"Some of tomorrow's veterans are in combat in Iraq at this hour. They have a clear mission to defeat the terrorists and aid the rise of a free government that can defend itself. They are performing that mission with skill and with honor. They are making us proud. They are winning," Bush said.

In Baghdad, a car bomb killed at least 17 people today.

In Mosul, the U.S. military says insurgents attacked police stations in several parts of the city, overwhelming "the capabilities of the existing police force." U.S. forces responded with air and ground fire against suspected rebel targets in the city.


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