Fighting, confrontation continued in Iraq
Iraq, Military, 11/16/2004
The American forces have launched, in addition to Falluja, strong confrontations in other areas in Iraq. In Baqouba to the North of Baghdad, the Iraqi and American forces clashed for several hours with gunmen who broke into police centers and controlled several areas in the city.
The city was exposed to air and artillery bombardment. A statement by the American army said it killed some 20 gunmen while 4 American soldiers were killed in the fighting.
In a statement to al-Jazeera TV, journalist Seif al-Ojeili denied the American estimation for the number of killing, stressing that the preliminary outcome indicates that five members of the Iraqi security men and three civilians were killed.
He added that the armed members withdrew from all positions which they had controlled earlier and the American forces were deployed in the city and started breaking in operations in the surrounding villages.
The American forces also launched fighting against gunmen in Musil streets, the third largest Iraqi city. The clashes erupted following the deployment of the American and Iraqi forces in the city to restore back control after gunmen were deployed in it along the few past days.
The American army said that there are pockets for resistance inside the city and one military spokesman expected continued fighting for several days. Two American soldiers were injured in a booby trapped car attack at one American vehicle on the highway to the west of the city.
The Iraqi minister of the Interior Fallah al-Naqib announced the killing of seven members of the Iraqi security forces and 30 gunmen in a military operation to restore back control at the police centers in Musil. He added that "more than 50% of the police members returned back to their centers and the remaining others will return back shortly," noting fierce fighting launched by the police forces and national guards.
In Tel Afar, 7 km from Musil, two Iraqis were killed and other 20 were injured in clashes between gunmen and American soldiers.
Other 13 Iraqis were killed and 26 injured in confrontations and two American raids in Beji to the north of Baghdad. Six Iraqis were killed and other five injured in confrontations in the downtown of al-Ramadi to the west of Baghdad.
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