U.S. forces swiftly seized control of 70 percent of the Iraqi city of Fallujah on Wednesday -- the third day of a major offensive to take over the rebel stronghold prior to national elections.
U.S. and Iraqi troops claimed control over one-third of Fallujah and were slowly moving into the city's center Tuesday, the second day of a major ground offensive against the insurgent stronghold.
Iraqi and U.S. forces launched the first phase of a major assault against the rebel stronghold of Fallujah in central Iraq on Monday, seizing a hospital and two bridges over the Euphrates River.
U.S. airplanes and tanks fired on suspected rebel strongholds in eastern and western Fallujah on Wednesday in the heaviest bombardment on the Iraqi city in several weeks.
The top negotiator in Fallujah peace talks with the Iraqi government said dialogue would remain suspended, despite his release Monday by U.S. authorities as an apparent bid to resume talks to end the fighting in the major insurgent stronghold.
U.S. Marines will begin withdrawing from Fallujah as a new Iraqi security force moves in under an agreement reached late Wednesday to end the month-long standoff between coalition forces and insurgents.
U.S. aircraft and tanks targeted two suspected insurgent strongholds in the central Iraqi city of Fallujah Tuesday night, in a second day of attacks aimed at clamping down on insurgents.
Five suicide car bombers targeted police stations around the southern Iraqi city of Basra during Wednesday's morning rush hour, killing at least 65 people, including school children, and wounding scores more.
Civic leaders in Fallujah joined American officials Monday in asking insurgents to surrender their heavy weapons, after a weekend of fighting in Iraq killed ten U.S. soldiers.
U.S. military and civilian officials met with leaders from Fallujah, a city ringed by U.S. Marines working to root out insurgents operating there, for the first time Friday since the siege of the central city began April 5.
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