A US official, Dan Senor in Baghdad says that alleged al-Qaida mastermind, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is believed to be in or near the restive Iraqi city of Fallujah.
The United States is offering a 10-million-dollar reward for al-Zarqawi, who is believed to be behind several insurgent attacks in Iraq, including the March 17th car bombing of a Baghdad hotel that killed seven people.
Earlier today (Tuesday), a US military helicopter made an emergency landing near Fallujah, after coming under fire from insurgents on the ground.
US General Mark Kimmitt said no one on board the helicopter was injured when it landed, but US troops responding to the crash site came under enemy fire and three troops were wounded. The military destroyed the helicopter to keep it out of the hands of insurgents.
Military officials also report one US Marine was killed and seven others wounded in fighting in the area of Fallujah today (Tuesday).
South of Baghdad, the military says one US soldier was killed in an attack on a convoy. Another soldier and one civilian contractor also were wounded in the incident (Tuesday).
In another development, US forces in Baghdad briefly detained an aide to radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Hazem al-Araji was released after it was determined he did not have any direct involvement in recent violence.
General Kimmitt said a "significant" number of coalition forces have been re-positioned around the Shi'ite holy cities of Karbala and Najaf for a possible offensive. Currently, parts of the two cities remain under the control of Moqtada al-Sadr's militia.
Monday, top US military commanders in Iraq (General John Abizaid and General Ricardo Sanchez) said it is the mission of US forces to capture or kill Moqtada al-Sadr.
News reports from Najaf say the cleric's militia has pulled out of the town's police stations in hopes of averting a US assault.