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10 US Troops, Dozens of Iraqi Insurgents Killed in Fighting - 2004-04-18


Ten U-S troops and dozens of insurgents have been killed in combat across Iraq -- including five US Marines killed in a day-long battle near the Syrian border.

The U-S military has confirmed the Marine deaths near Husaybah and said 25 to 30 insurgents were killed in the 14-hour battle on Saturday triggered by an attack on a Marine patrol.

U-S helicopter-backed reinforcements also came under heavy fire. An Arabic television report said Marines were in control of entrances to the city early on Sunday. In southern Iraq, three US soldiers died late Saturday, when their convoy came under attack near the city of Diwaniyah. Two other U-S troops were killed in separate incidents.

Meanwhile, US forces have closed off long stretches of two major highways running north and south from Baghdad following insurgent attacks that have affected the flow of supplies to the capital.

Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt said the roads are in need of repair, and must be protected.

A US military statement warned that anyone driving on the sections of highway closed for safety and security reasons could be subject to attack.

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