Report From the Arab Press

Collated by A.

June 24, 2004

Anti-occupation violent operations covered much of central and northern Iraq

Anti-occupation violent operations covered several areas in Iraq today, Thursday, June 24. Al-Jazeera TV reported violent clashes between Iraqi resistance and US occupation troops in the eastern province of B'aqouba, 120 klm east of Baghdad, in the northern province of Mosul 390 klm north of Baghdad, in Falluja, in the Western province of Anbar, and in south Baghdad.

In Ba'qouba, reports claimed resistance fighters, controlled several government offices since early morning and exchanged fire with US forces, killing two US soldiers and injuring many others. US fighter planes and helicopters bombed areas in the town, killing 20 civilians and injuring 50 others.

In Falluja, al-Jazeera quoted US spokesman as saying one helicopter was shot down by resistance fighters and that its crew were saved. But the London-based Quds Press agency reported from its correspondent in Falluja that resistance fighters shot down three US helicopters which exploded in the air, killing all their crew. The Lebanese TV channel, al-Manar confirmed the shooting of two helicopters. It explained that US ground forces tried to storm the town aided by fighter planes and helicopters but were repulsed by the resistance and forced to retreat after losing many of their troops and vehicles. US air force planes bombed several neighborhoods, thus forcing many families to flee the town. Dr. Salman al-Jumaili, a member of the town's negotiating team, accused US occupation forces of violating the truce agreement.

Later on, US occupation forces agreed with a delegation representing the town's population on an unconditional truce according to which they have to go back to their previous positions outside the town and stop their planes from flying over the town. The Mayor of the town, Mahmoud al-Juraisi, in a statement to Al-Jazeera TV categorically denied US claims that there were foreign fighters in the town.

In Ramadi, resistance fighters controlled several police stations, released three detainees, and took all the weapons before blowing up one of two stations that resisted them. The agency said resistance fighters were in full control in the seat of Anbar province.

In Baghdad, resistance fighters attacked a checkpoint in the town of al-Doara south of the capital. An American convoy was attacked in Abu-Ghraib village, west of the capital. One military vehicle was destroyed with several casualties which were not disclosed by US spokesman.

In Mosul, American spokesman said two soldiers were killed in clashes with resistance fighters who attacked several police stations.

the Iraqi Ministry of Health said 69 Iraqis were killed and more than 200 injured. Later reports put the number of casualties of today's violence at 85 dead and 320 injured.

Further report on the fighting in Falluja

Al-Jazeera TV said fighting erupted afternoon between American forces and Resistance fighters in Falluja with American planes bombing the town. Islammemo web site said five American helicopters and a transport plane were shot down today in Falluja. It added that the truce never held and that occupation troops continued their attack on the northern north east of the town. Later in the evening, the web site reported a truce agreement for 24 hours. American forces were reported to be massing troops opposite the town in preparation for launching another attack. Islammemo said resistance fighters have destroyed two US military vehicles this evening before the ceasefire.

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