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U.S. And Iraqi Forces Continue Offensive In Al-Fallujah

(file photo) 13 November 2004 -- U.S. and Iraqi forces are continuing their offensive in the Iraqi insurgent stronghold of Al-Fallujah, west of Baghdad.

The U.S. officer in charge of the operations, Lieutenant General John Sattler, said yesterday that 22 American troops and five Iraqi soldiers have been killed since the battle began on 8 November. He said some 600 suspected insurgents have also died and 151 have been captured. U.S. officials said that American and Iraqi forces have control of 80 percent of the city.

The number of civilian casualties is not known. The Iraqi Red Crescent Society urged U.S. and Iraqi forces to let it deliver food, medicine, and water to civilians trapped in the city, describing conditions in Al-Fallujah as a "disaster."

In Iraq's third city of Mosul, armed militants attacked the headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of the country's main two Kurdish parties.

A PUK official said guards killed six attackers and captured four others in an hour-long gunbattle. Insurgents also attacked several police stations, capturing weapons and some police uniforms.

Northeast of Baghdad, insurgents gunned down a U.S. Black Hawk helicopter, injuring three crew members.

(news agencies)