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US to Reduce Troop Presence in Fallujah - 2003-07-11

The U.S. military says it is reducing its troop presence at a police station in the central Iraqi town of Fallujah, one day after Iraqi police there threatened to resign if the troops did not leave town immediately.

The U.S. military says most of the American troops who had been working at a police station in Fallujah, were pulled out on Friday at the request of the Iraqi police.

But the military says at least six U.S. soldiers will remain to support the Iraqis. Other U.S. troops also remain based in and around Fallujah.

The move follows a protest on Thursday by more than 100 members of the new U.S.-trained Iraqi police force in Fallujah. They threatened to quit if U.S. forces did not immediately leave town, saying the American presence there endangered their lives.

On Wednesday, their police station and a municipality building came under attack by insurgents firing rocket-propelled grenades. There were no reported injuries.

U.S. officials say the organized resistance in Fallujah is from groups of Saddam Hussein loyalists, Islamic militants, and Iraqis seeking revenge for the deaths of relatives.

In late April, U.S. troops killed at least 15 protesters in Fallujah after a protest turned violent.