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US Troops End Anti-Insurgent Operation in Western Iraq


The U.S. military says it has successfully wrapped-up a week-long offensive against insurgents and militants loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the far western desert of Iraq.

A military statement today (Saturday) said the Marine-led assault disrupted known infiltration routes through an area north of the Euphrates river, near the Syrian border. It also is said to have broken up safe havens and staging areas for terrorists conducting attacks across Iraq.

The military reports that more than 125 insurgents were killed and many more were wounded. Another 39 militants of what it called "intelligence value" were detained. Nine Marines were also killed and 40 were injured.

Elsewhere in Iraq, at least eight people were killed in shooting, suicide and car bomb attacks in Baghdad and Mosul. And police say a senior foreign ministry official was gunned down in Baghdad.

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