Hours after U.S. forces swept through central Baghdad in an operation designed to "move through a major area" of the Iraqi capital, explosions and mortar fire continued to echo throughout the city.
After an all-night battle, U.S. military officials said that coalition forces had seized control of Baghdad's main airport Friday, a key development in their campaign to topple Saddam Hussein's regime.
Reporters for the Al Jazeera satellite television channel continued their work in Baghdad Friday after the Iraqi government lifted bans it had imposed on the journalists just a day before.
Coalition forces continued their thrust toward the Iraqi capital Thursday, battling Iraqi troops and reportedly taking control of Saddam Hussein International Airport 10 miles from downtown Baghdad.
Al Jazeera, a satellite television channel based in Qatar, announced it would cut back its news operations in Iraq after government officials barred two journalists from reporting in Baghdad.
U.S. troops surrounded Saddam International airport about six miles from Baghdad Thursday and were massing at the "gateways" of the city, according to U.S. military officials and reporters traveling with coalition forces.
U.S. troops entered the "red zone" within 20 miles of Baghdad on Wednesday, after advancing past the city of Karbala and completing key crossings of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
Coalition forces made new moves toward Baghdad Monday delivering an intense barrage of artillery fire and heavy bombings on the city's outskirts.
Coalition forces launched fresh air strikes against Baghdad Sunday while U.S. forces attempted to shore up military positions in northern Iraq on the eleventh day of the U.S.-led war with Iraq.
Coalition warplanes on Saturday pounded Baghdad with one of their fiercest air assaults yet. The bombing came as Iraqi and coalition officials blamed one another for scores of reported civilian casualties.
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