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Saturday, October 09, 2004

Occupation Watch:?U.S., Iraqi troops expand offensive

U.S., Iraqi troops expand offensive

Rocket attack hits Baghdad hotel
October 8th, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- More than 2,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops are targeting insurgents in the northern section of Babil province, even as insurgents targeted a hotel near Baghdad's Green Zone.

The U.S. military announced the Babil offensive on Thursday.

The operations are part of a larger effort by U.S.-led forces to establish security ahead of the January Iraqi elections.

The operation in the south-central Iraqi province of Babil began Tuesday following an intense offensive begun last week in the Sunni Triangle city of Samarra, a move that the commander of the 1st Infantry Division declared a success on Wednesday.

Iraqi security forces, led by a SWAT team, and elements of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, captured 13 suspected militants in the town of Haswa in Babil province in a Wednesday afternoon raid, the U.S. military said Thursday.

This comes after raids conducted by the forces "drove insurgents east of the Euphrates River to Haswa," a unit statement said. Insurgent "forces retaliated with small attacks" on Marines from the town.

Occupation Watch:?U.S., Iraqi troops expand offensive

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