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Alleged Al-Zarqawi Tape Urges On Al-Fallujah Insurgents

Militants linked to al-Zarqawi have taken many hostage in Iraq (file photo) 12 November 2004 -- An audiotape purportedly made by Al-Qaeda-linked terror suspect Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi encouraged his fighters in Al-Fallujah and said victory was near.

The tape surfaced today on a militant Muslim website. Its authenticity could not be confirmed.

U.S.-led forces meanwhile tightened their grip on Al-Fallujah as the assault on the insurgent flashpoint entered its fifth day. Thousands of U.S. and Iraqi troops, backed by tanks, moved house-to-house to root out pockets of insurgents.

In the northern city of Mosul, insurgents attacked the headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the two ruling Kurdish parties. A PUK official said six attackers were killed and four captured.

In Baghdad, insurgents attacked a U.S. patrol, killing one soldier.

North of Baghdad, in Taji, a U.S. Blackhawk helicopter was shot down, and three crew members were wounded. The crew was rescued from the area.


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