Sunday November 14, 2004 6:31 PM
By The Associated Press
Developments in Iraq on Sunday:
- The U.S. military's ground and air assault of Fallujah has gone quicker than expected, with the entire city occupied after six days of fighting, said Marine Maj. Gen. Richard Natonski who planned the operation.
- The military said 31 Americans and six Iraqi soldiers have been killed during the Fallujah assault. Earlier, U.S. commanders said more than 1,200 guerrillas have been killed since the siege began Monday.
- U.S. troops from Task Force 2-2 of the 1st Infantry Division discovered an immense series of underground bunkers linked by tunnels that insurgents stocked with medical supplies, a CNN correspondent embedded with the unit reported. Warplanes dropped four 2,000-pound bombs on the bunker network.
- Marines in Fallujah found the mutilated body of what they believe was a Western woman. The body was lying in the street covered with a blood-soaked cloth. Two foreign women were kidnapped last month - Margaret Hassan, 59, the director of CARE International in Iraq and Teresa Borcz Khalifa, 54, a Polish-born longtime resident of Iraq.
- French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said two French journalists held hostage for nearly three months in Iraq were believed to be in a ``fairly safe'' part of the country. The government has said Christian Chesnot, 37, and Georges Malbrunot, 41 were believed to be alive but authorities lost direct contact with the kidnappers.
- Militants attacked two police stations in Mosul, killing at least six Iraqi National Guards and wounding three others. One insurgent was killed and three others were wounded. Iraqi security forces later regained control of the stations.
- Saboteurs set fire to four oil wells in Khabbaza, 12 miles northwest of Kirkuk, the state-run Northern Oil Co. said. Iraq's oil industry, which provides desperately needed money for reconstruction efforts, has been the target of repeated insurgent attacks in recent months.
- Insurgents clashed with U.S. troops after blowing up a railroad overpass in the northern town of Beiji. Later, a gun battle erupted between militants and American troops in the central market, and at least six people were killed.
- The government plans to reopen Baghdad International Airport to civilian flights Monday, Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's office said. The airport was closed for 48 hours under a state of emergency announced Nov. 7 and that extension was repeatedly extended.
- Italian troops will not remain in Iraq if the new government elected in January can handle the fight against terrorism on its own, Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino said. Italy has 3,000 troops in Iraq.
- U.S. Marines reopened the Fallujah bridge where Iraqis strung up the charred bodies of two American contractors in March, with officers calling the span's clearing for traffic a symbolic victory in the fight against Iraq's insurgents.
- Heavy explosions hit central Baghdad after nightfall, followed by a spate of gunfire. At least two big blasts were heard near central Saadoun Street, and the rattle of heavy gunfire followed. The U.S. military had no immediate comment.
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