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Posted: 10/1/2004 7:49:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/1/2004 8:33:07 AM EDT by vito113]
Now this is how it should be done…

"'Scores die' in Samarra assault

US and Iraqi troops returned to Samarra earlier this month

United States and Iraqi forces have stormed Samarra in a major offensive in a bid to retake control of the town from insurgents.

US troops estimate 109 insurgents have been killed, but doctors talk of 80 dead, including civilians.

One US soldier has been killed and two others have been wounded.

By Friday afternoon, US and Iraqi troops were in control of about 80% of the predominantly Sunni Muslim city, an Iraqi interior ministry spokesman said.


The US military said its troops had seized control of the town hall and police stations.

In an assault that began overnight, US and Iraqi government troops, backed by armoured vehicles and warplanes, advanced through Samarra neighbourhood by neighbourhood.

Battle for Iraq's future

Insurgents responded with mortar and rocket-propelled grenade attacks, and small-arms fire.

Some of the fighting took place close to a mosque that attracts many Shia Muslim pilgrims to the region.

Residents speak of cowering in their homes during a night of explosions.

Electricity and water supplies are reported to have been cut off.

The Americans also say their troops have freed a Turkish worker named Yahlin Kaya, who they say had been kidnapped and was being held hostage in the city.

Wider offensive?

Samarra, which lies north of Baghdad, is one of several pockets in Iraq that over the past few months have fallen into the hands of insurgents.

Unimpeded access throughout the city for Iraqi security forces and multi-national forces is non-negotiable

US military statement

A negotiated agreement three weeks ago that allowed US soldiers back into the city quickly unravelled.

The BBC's Caroline Hawley, in Baghdad, says that with elections due in less than four months, the interim Iraqi government is talking of trying to wrest back the whole of the country from rebels in the next few weeks.

She adds that the attack on Samarra may well be the beginning of a wider offensive.

In a statement, the US military said the offensive was in response to what it called "repeated and unprovoked attacks by anti-Iraqi forces".

It aimed "to facilitate orderly government processes, kill or capture anti-Iraqi forces, and set the conditions to proceed with infrastructure and quality of life improvements for the people of Samarra".

The statement added: "Unimpeded access throughout the city for Iraqi security forces and multinational forces is non-negotiable."

Meanwhile, in Baghdad, nine members of radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr's militia and three civilians are reported to have been killed during clashes with US forces in the Sadr City area.

Thursday saw a triple bomb attack in the city kill more than 40 people, most of them children.

Link Posted: 10/1/2004 7:52:58 AM EDT
Rumors of something like this have been around for a while. We only have the next two months to do something like this and still leave time to organize the newly cleaned areas for elections.
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