The US military says its jets have bombed a suspected insurgent safehouse in the remote desert of western Iraq, as a Marine-led assault on rebels continues for a sixth day. Residents in the area, near the Syrian border, say they are fleeing to safer regions, as more shelling is reported. More than one thousand Marines are involved in the operation, which comes as insurgent attacks elsewhere in Iraq have intensified, killing more than 300 people this month.
On Friday, Iraq's interim prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari acknowledged the surge in violence, saying emergency laws will be renewed for another 30 days. The laws -- which allow the government special powers to impose curfews and restrict movement -- will be imposed across Iraq, except in the northern Kurdish region. Meanwhile, in Baquba, Iraqi authorities say a car-bomb exploded, killing two Iraqi soldiers and a civilian.