Expanded Fallujah Assault Now Underway

NOVEMBER 11, 2004 - Posted at 11:28 a.m. CST

NEAR FALLUJAH, IRAQ - U.S. forces have launched a new phase of their assault on Fallujah, attacking insurgents still holding out in the south of the city.

U.S. officials say the assault by soldiers and Marines began around sundown.  The attack follows three days of combat, mostly in the northern districts.

U.S. troops launched their major assault against Fallujah late Monday.  They pushed into northern districts until they reached the main east-west highway bisecting the city.  Fighting has been under way since then to clear pockets of resistance from northern areas, where insurgent positions were believed the strongest.

Military reports since Monday indicate that at least 13 U.S. soldiers and Marines have been killed in the Fallujah operation.  The military estimates 600 insurgents have been killed.

Military spokesmen say that more than 200 soldiers involved in the offensive have been flown to Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)