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US, Iraqi Troops Sweep Insurgent Strongholds

U.S. Marines and Iraqi forces intensified their sweeps through restive towns in Iraq's western al-Anbar province Saturday, as a top Iraqi official said troops are closing in on wanted terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Troops moved west along the Euphrates River valley in a push to flush out insurgents who have taken control of some towns. Witnesses reported clashes between U.S. Marines and rebels in the city of Ramadi that killed at least three Iraqis and wounded 15 more.

Meanwhile, National Security Chief Kassem Daoud told reporters "we are really close to Zarqawi." This week, the government announced the arrests of what it called two top lieutenants of the terrorist leader.

In other developments, relatives said the body of a female Iraqi television presenter Raiedah Wazan who was kidnapped last Sunday was found in Mosul.

And attacks in Baghdad and a city south of the capital killed three people and injured at least five others.