Green Zone targeted in latest attacks

At least five heavy explosions have rocked central Baghdad.

    The 6-sq-km compound has been the target of many attacks

    There was no immediate explanation for the blasts, which hit about 7.30pm (1630 GMT) on Saturday. Sirens were heard coming from the fortified Green Zone, which houses the US and Iraqi leadership.

    The area lies on the western bank of the Tigris River.

    The US military had no immediate comment on the explosions.

    The 6-sq-km compound surrounded by concrete walls, razor wire, sandbag bunkers and guard posts is a common target for anti-US fighters.

    Falluja not over

    Meanwhile US military officials took issue with confident assertions by a top Iraqi official that the assault against Falluja had ended, insisting field commanders had yet to declare the huge operation over.

    US military officials insist that the
    assault on Falluja has not ended

    "Military commanders and troops on the ground will make their determination [of when the attack is finished] and to this point that determination has not been made," US marines spokesman Lieutenant Lyle Gilbert said.

    "We will continue to engage pockets of resistance in the city and eliminate them one by one until the job is done."

    His comments contradicted those of the top security official in Iraq's US-backed government, Qasim Dawud, who announced in a televised news conference that "Operation Fajr (Dawn) has been achieved and only the malignant pockets remain that we are dealing with through a clean-up operation".

    Widespread violence

    Also on Saturday, a medical source told Aljazeera that an Iraqi civilian was killed and 10 others injured by US fire in Talafar city in northern Iraq.

    The shooting came after a US military patrol was targeted by an explosive device in the Hassan Koai suburb, in the centre of the city.

    Earlier in the day witnesses reported seeing fire and smoke rising from the US military base in Falluja after it came under rocket attack.

    Violence continued in the nearby town of Garma as US troops opened fire on a house in the town northwest of Falluja, killing five members of one family that had fled the besieged city.

    US troops in Garma came under rocket-propelled grenade attack earlier in the day. There was no immediate information on casualties.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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