36 Iraqis were killed during fierce fighting in the besieged Iraqi city of Fallujah, a US-led occupation statement said Thursday.
The fighting on Wednesday morning broke out when about 60 Iraqi fighters attacked US marines with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades in northwest Fallujah, the statement said. "Marines responded to the attacks with overwhelming small arms and mortar fire, as well as close-air support, killing 36 anti-Iraqi forces," said the statement.
On Wednesday, the US military reported that nine Iraqis were killed and three Marines were injured in the battle.
A truce deal was put in place Monday but the US army said clashes threatened to derail it.
In a related development, the top Marine commander in Iraq said Thursday the residents in Fallujah have "days, not weeks" to turn in heavy weapons.
Elsewhere, a South African civilian was killed and his Iraqi translator was seriously wounded in a shooting attack in the Iraqi capital. The man was shot in the head on Thursday while in the Adhamiyah neighbourhood. Iraq's interim health minister, Khodayyir Abbas, said "The person who was killed today in Baghdad was a South African employed as a security agent for the coalition." (Albawaba.com)
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