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U.S., Iraqi Troops Launch Assault On Mosul

Marines are going to Mosul (file photo) 16 November 2004 -- U.S. and Iraqi forces today launched operations in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul to clear insurgents who have been active in the city during the past week.

An Army spokeswoman said offensive operations have begun on the western side of the Tigris River to retake a string of police stations in the area.

The move in Mosul comes as fighting continues in the city of Al-Fallujah, where U.S.-led forces are mopping up after a week of battling to drive out insurgents. There have also been clashes between U.S. troops and insurgents in Ba'qauba, north of Baghdad.

An AFP correspondent with the troops said that the U.S. military closed all five bridges in Mosul and set up concrete and barbed-wire barricades.

Meanwhile, the United States says it is investigating an incident in which a U.S. marine in Al-Fallujah appeared to shoot dead a wounded Iraqi prisoner. Marines Corps Lieutenant General John Sattler explained: "The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether the marine acted in self-defense, violated military law, or failed to comply with the law of armed conflict."

Television footage by the U.S. NBC network appeared to show the Marine shooting dead the wounded prisoner in a mosque.

(international agencies)