War planes and tanks pounded the Iraqi city of Fallujah before dawn today (Tuesday) as U.S. and Iraqi troops pushed deeper into the insurgent-held city.
The thousands of troops moved into Fallujah from the northeast and northwest Monday at the beginning of their long-awaited assault on the city. Residents reported buildings burning across the Jolan neighborhood, where insurgents are deeply entrenched.
Hours before the attack, Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi visited Iraqi troops and vowed to restore the rule of law to the city.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says he does not think there will be large numbers of civilian casualties during the fight. U.S. officials say at least half of the city's residents have evacuated but as many as 100,000 remain.
Hospital officials say 12 people were killed in Monday's fighting.