Mosul clashes continue

Seven policemen and more than 30 Iraqi fighters have been killed during clashes in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

    Clashes in Mosul have increased since the Falluja offensive

    Isolated pockets of fighting occurred mainly in the west and

    southwest of Mosul on Monday, the

    US military said.

    Two US soldiers were wounded in a car bomb attack on a

    convoy on the highway leading west from the city.

    "I expect the next few days will bring some hard fighting,"

    US northern commander Brigadier General Carter Ham said in a

    statement. "The situation in Mosul is tense, but certainly not

    desperate."

    Iraqi fighters captured several police stations last week and some

    police stripped off their uniforms to join them.

    US

    troops fought for two hours to retake one station on Sunday.

    Most stations had been recaptured and many police had

    returned to duty, Ham said.

    "There are a few stations which remain vacant - generally

    those which were heavily looted or burned," he said.

    "Multinational forces and Iraqi forces patrol to ensure

    insurgents do not occupy these few stations. No stations are

    occupied or controlled by insurgents. I expect sufficient police

    will be on hand in a few days to control all the stations."

    Falluja offensive

    US and Iraqi troops had raided Iraqi hideouts and "had

    some success", he said, but gave no details. 

    Iraqi fighters in Mosul have been
    targeting Iraqi policemen

    Violence flared in Mosul after 10,000 US and 2000 Iraqi

    troops stormed Falluja, 50km west of the capital,

    last Monday to recapture the city from Iraqi control.

    Iraq's interim government and its US backers said Falluja

    was the epicentre of anti-US activity in Iraq, from where most of

    the bombings, killings and kidnappings that have swept the

    country were masterminded.

    But they also said many Iraqi fighters

    fled the city before the offensive, which the US military says

    has killed more than 1000 Iraqi fighters

    and 38 US soldiers.

    Several Iraqi groups have condemned the offensive on Falluja, saying the US is indiscriminately bombing the city and needlessly harming civilians.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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