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US Says Complete Control of Fallujah Near


The assault on Fallujah by U.S. and Iraqi forces entered its fifth day on Saturday, with U.S. officials saying they are close to gaining complete control of the city. Meanwhile, the city of Mosul is still the scene of violence.

U.S. troops launched a major attack at midday Saturday against insurgents in the southern sector of Fallujah. U.S. officials say they have control of most of the city, and hope that this will be the final assault, followed by house-to-house clearing operations.

Iraq's interim national security minister Qassem Dawoud says more than 1,000 insurgents have been killed.

The al Qaida-connected terrorist leader Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, who U.S. and Iraqi officials said was operating out of Fallujah, has not been found.

An Iraqi Red Crescent convoy entered Fallujah on Saturday. It's been estimated that as many as half of the city's 300,000 inhabitants evacuated the city before the attack, but aid agencies are deeply concerned about the remaining civilians.

Meanwhile, unrest continued for the third day in the northern city of Mosul, where some insurgents appear to have fled from Fallujah. Insurgents have targeted police stations, bridges and government buildings. Mosul authorities requested reinforcements after local police abandoned their posts. On Saturday an Iraqi National Guard convoy was attacked by a car bomb. Ten Iraqi National Guardsmen and one American soldier have been killed in the city.

Baghdad's international airport has been closed indefinitely and at least six Iraqi cities have been put under curfew.

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