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Massive Joint Military Offensive Continuing In Iraq

The assault operation is using a combined U.S. and Iraqi force to target insurgents near the town of Samarra, about 100 kilometers north of Baghdad (epa) March 17, 2006 -- U.S. and Iraqi troops are continuing their massive joint military operation, Operation Swarmer, northeast of Samarra, about 100 kilometers north of Baghdad.

Military officials say they have arrested dozens of suspected militants and confiscated some weapons. The operation is being called the U.S.-led coalition's biggest air assault since the start of the war in 2003.

Few details of the operation have been made available.

Meanwhile, scattered violence continued in Iraq today. Iraqi police said that at least two civilians were killed and another four wounded when a mortar shell fell on houses near a U.S. military base in Mahmudiya, 30 kilometers south of Baghdad.

In Kut, 170 kilometers south of Baghdad, one civilian was killed and another four wounded in a roadside bomb explosion.

(compiled from news agencies reports)

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