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Uneasy Calm Hangs Over Samarra - 2004-10-02

There is a lull in fighting in the insurgent stronghold of Samarra, north of Baghdad, where 100 militants were killed in fighting Friday.

The city appeared mostly calm Saturday, except for in the center, where American snipers are positioned on rooftops, and sporadic gunfire and explosions could be heard.

Iraqi officials said the situation was under control, except for a few remaining pockets of resistance.

The offensive aims to subdue insurgents in cities such as Ramadi and Fallujah before January's election.

In Fallujah, American warplanes bombed suspected terrorist hideouts for the second time in 24 hours. Local doctors say seven people died in the earlier strike.

In the northern city of Mosul, a car bomb exploded near a U.S. military convoy, wounding two soldiers. Another soldier was killed late Friday in Baghdad.

And in several Kurdish cities across northern Iraq, tens of thousands of Kurds demonstrated, demanding an independent Kurdistan with Kirkuk as its capital.