U.S. Marines clashed with Iraqi fighters on the outskirts of Fallujah and launched additional airstrikes, the U.S. command said Friday.
Around sundown Thursday, Iraqis fired small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars at U.S. forces, who hit back with ground fire and airstrikes. According to The PAP, hospital officials in Fallujah reported that eight people were killed and two injured in the fighting.
On Friday, the US military said that "combat operations" have not started and American forces have not entered the city. The US forces are still conducting "security operations," the American statement said.
An airstrike Thursday at 10 p.m. hit a site where "20 armed invidividuals were seen moving crates and equipment from house to house," the U.S. military said.
Fallujah leaders on Thursday urged the Iraqi government to pursue a peaceful solution to the military standoff around the city and order a halt to frequent U.S. air attacks.
Fallujah community leaders also issued a list of other demands, including compensation for damaged property and withdrawing American soldiers from the city's outskirts. Late Thursday, Al-Arabiya television reported that the Iraqi government had rejected the demands.
Elsewhere, four Iraqis were killed by a roadside bomb Thursday night on a road south of Baghdad, police and medics said Friday. (albawaba.com)
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