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November 23, 2004

Massive Offensive Launched Against Terrorists

About time:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Some 5,000 U.S. Marines, British troops and Iraqi commandos launched a new offensive Tuesday aimed at clearing a swath of insurgent hotbeds south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

The joint operation kicked off with early morning raids in the town of Jabella in Babil province, netting 32 suspected insurgents, the U.S. military said in a statement. Jabella is 50 miles south of Baghdad.

Insurgent violence has increased in the areas south of the capital in "an apparent attempt to divert attention" away from the U.S-led assault on the militant stronghold of Fallujah, the military said.

The cluster of dusty, small towns located south of the capital, has been a major area for insurgent activity. U.S. and Iraqi forces have come under repeated attacks by car bombs, rockets, and small arms fire in the area.

The region has become known as a "triangle of death" for the numerous attacks by Sunni Muslim insurgents and criminal gangs on Shiites, Westerners and members of the Iraqi security services.



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