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Bush Prays for Troops in Fallujah


President Bush says U.S. troops fighting in the Iraqi city of Fallujah are battling to ensure Iraq's democratic future.

President Bush says U.S. Marines in Fallujah are doing what he calls the hard work necessary for a free Iraq to emerge.

"There are still terrorists there who are trying to stop the march of freedom, and at the request of the Allawi government and alongside of Iraqi troops, coalition forces are now moving into Fallujah to bring to justice those who are willing to kill the innocent and those who are trying to terrorize the Iraqi people and our coalition, those who want to stop democracy, and they are not going to succeed," said Mr. Bush.

The president spoke after visiting wounded American troops at a military hospital outside Washington. He said he and Mrs. Bush are praying for all U.S. soldiers in harm's way.

The president says U.S. commanders on the ground in Iraq are working with the country's transitional government to ensure that sufficient security is established throughout the country to conduct national elections as scheduled in two months time.

The ongoing operation in Fallujah is aimed at retaking the city from armed militants and ending the insurgency there ahead of January's planned vote.