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US General: Fallujah Offensive Has 'Broken the Backs' of the Insurgents - 2004-11-18


The top commander of U.S. Marines in Iraq says U.S. and Iraqi troops have "broken the back" of the insurgency there by taking control of Fallujah.

Lieutenant General John Sattler said Thursday the 11-day operation made it difficult for rebels to operate. But, he said Fallujah is not quite secure yet, and that a Marine and an Iraqi soldier were killed Thursday.

Troops are going building-to-building, clearing weapons and explosives. At one property, embedded reporters say troops found photographs, notes, ammunition and letters thought to be from wanted militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Meanwhile, insurgents killed four people in bomb attacks in Baghdad and Kirkuk.

And the militant group Army of Ansar al-Sunna threatened attacks and warned voters and candidates not to participate in Iraq's January election because it has U.S. backing.

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