Thousands of Iraqi troops backed by U.S. forces are continuing their push through the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar, an insurgent stronghold near the borders of Syria and Turkey.

Western news reports say coalition forces were advancing unchallenged Sunday, after encountering stiff resistance Saturday in the city, now largely deserted by its 200,000 residents.

Late Saturday, the U.S. military said 141 insurgents had been killed and 200 suspects captured in the area since August 26.

Separately, a U.S. military statement says coalition forces have launched an assault on what it described as a known terrorist haven in the western al-Anbar provincial town of ar-Rutbah.

Elsewhere, a senior Interior Ministry official, Major-General Adnan Abdul Rahman, was shot and killed in front of his home in western Baghdad. And authorities say a U.S. soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in Samarra.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.