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Iraq: Marines Cross Euphrates In Nasiriya Amid Heavy Fighting

Nasiriya, Iraq; 25 March 2003 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Marines fought their way across the Euphrates River into the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriya today. Correspondents from two news agencies traveling with the troops said a Marine convoy with tanks and armored personnel carriers secured two bridges on the Euphrates needed for a new route north toward the capital Baghdad.

The convoy came under heavy fire, and the U.S. forces responded with artillery, Cobra attack helicopters, and machine-gun fire.

U.S. forces resumed their assault on Nasiriya late yesterday. Seven U.S. soldiers were killed in earlier fighting outside Nassiriya that halted the northward advance of U.S. and British troops.