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Developments in Iraq
(Associated Press, April 10, 2004)
Hundreds of reinforcements joined Marines besieging Fallujah, and the military said it would move to take the entire city if talks fail. Gunfire crackled even as Iraqi government negotiators met with city leaders, trying to persuade them to hand over militants who killed and mutilated four Americans in the city March 31. . . . Militants struck a U.S. air base with mortars in Balad, north of Baghdad, killing an American airman. . . . Fighters attacked government buildings and police stations in Baqouba, setting off firefights in which about 40 Iraqis were killed. Several U.S. troops were wounded. . . . Insurgents fought U.S. troops in Baghdad's northern, mainly Sunni neighborhood of al-Azamiyah. . . . Masked gunmen played havoc on the road between Baghdad and Fallujah, a key supply route, rocketing a second fuel convoy in the area in as many days. Nearby, guerrillas hit a U.S. tank with an rocket-propelled grenade, setting it ablaze. . . . Militants threatened to kill and mutilate Thomas Hamill, an American civilian captured Friday during another convoy ambush in the same area the latest in a series of kidnappings in Iraq. They demanded troops withdraw from Fallujah. . . . Militants continued to hold hostage two aid workers a Canadian and an Arab from Jerusalem but announced they would free three Japanese civilians. The kidnappers of the Japanese, identifying themselves as the ''Muhahedeen Squadron,'' said they made the decision after mediation by the Islamic Clerics Committee, a Sunni organization, Al-Jazeera reported. . . . The head of the Iraqi Red Crescent's Irbil office, Barzan Umer Mantik, and his wife were attacked and killed in their car in the nearby city of Mosul, the International Committee of the Red Cross said. . . . The German Foreign Ministry said two security agents from its embassy in Baghdad have been missing for several days. It gave no further details, but Germany's ZDF and ARD television reported that the missing were two Germans, 38 and 25 years old, who were ambushed Wednesday while on a routine trip from Amman, Jordan, to Baghdad. . . . Gunmen attacked a checkpoint of Iraqi security forces near the northern city of Kirkuk, killing two Iraqi security members and kidnapping three others. . . . A member of the Iraqi Governing Council, Ahmed al-Barak, was attacked while traveling from Hilla to Baghdad. He escaped unharmed but three bodyguards were wounded.
posted by Lorenzo 2:45 PM