- (AP) -- The Iraqi government rushed reinforcements to
the country's third-largest city, Mosul, seeking to quell a deadly militant
uprising that U.S. officials suspected may be in support of the resistance
in Fallujah - now said to be under 80 percent U.S. control.
- Police in Mosul largely disappeared from the streets,
residents reported Friday, and gangs of armed men brandishing automatic
weapons and rocket-propelled grenade launchers roamed the city, 362 kilometers
north of Baghdad. Responding to the crisis, Iraqi authorities dismissed
Mosul's police chief after local officials reported that officers were
abandoning their stations to militants without firing a shot.
- Four U.S. helicopters were hit by insurgent groundfire
in two separate attacks near Fallujah, though their uninjured crews were
able to return to base safely, the U.S. military said yesterday.
- Two Kiowa choppers were hit before dawn in an ambush
by insurgents firing rocket-propelled grenades and machines guns when U.S.
pilots flew in to investigate a body lying near a car. Two Apache helicopters
also came under small arms fire during a patrol southeast of Fallujah late
- Earlier Friday, insurgents shot down a U.S. Army UH-60
Black Hawk helicopter north of Baghdad, wounding three crew members, the
military said. It was the third downed helicopter this week after two Marine
Super Cobras succumbed to ground fire in the Fallujah operation.
- In Fallujah, U.S. troops pushed insurgents into a narrow
corner in the southern end of the city after a four-day assault that the
U.S. military says has killed about 600 of them. Twenty-two Americans have
been killed and about about 170 wounded.
- Yesterday, heavy U.S. airstrikes and artillery fire continued
in Fallujah through the morning after American warplanes launched three
dozen bombing raids overnight.
- U.S. forces reported that mortar fire from inside the
city has nearly ceased while insurgent mortar attacks have been stepped
up against U.S. positions and bases outside of Fallujah.
- Two mosques in the city were also hit late Friday after
troops reported sniper fire from inside. One mosque was hit by a .50 caliber
machine gun from an attack helicopter while warplanes dropped four bombs
on the second, destroying its minarets.
- Despite the apparent success in Fallujah, violence flared
elsewhere in the volatile Sunni Muslim areas, including Mosul, where attacks
Thursday killed a U.S. soldier. Another soldier was killed in Baghdad as
clashes erupted Friday in at least four neighborhoods of the capital. Clashes
also broke out from Hawija and Tal Afar in the north to Samarra - where
the police chief was also fired - and Ramadi in central Iraq.
- The most serious incidents took place in Mosul, a city
of about 1 million people, where fighting raged for a second day. On Friday,
gunmen attacked the headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party
in an hourlong battle that left six assailants dead, a party member said.
- Militants also burned down the offices of another Kurdish
political party, the Islamic Union of Kurdistan, after ordering people
inside the building to evacuate it, according to Ghibwar Faiqa, a senior
- Yesterday, residents reported relative calm as patrols
of Iraqi National Guards roamed some parts of the city, while insurgents
were seen in other parts of the city.
- The U.S. military said that 10 Iraqi National Guards
were killed since mass clashes erupted Thursday night.
- Militants also assassinated the head of the city's anti-crime
task force, Brig. Gen. Mowaffaq Mohammed Dahham, and set fire to his home.
- "With the start of operations in Fallujah a few
days ago, we expected that there would be some reaction here in Mosul,"
Brigadier General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. forces in the city, told
CNN from Mosul.
- Ham said he doubted the Mosul attackers were insurgents
who fled Fallujah and said most "were from the northern part of Iraq,
in and around Mosul and the Tigris River valley that's south of the city."
- In a telephone interview with Al-Jazeera television,
Saif al-Deen al-Baghdadi, an official of the insurgents' political office,
urged militants to fight U.S. forces outside Fallujah.
- "I call upon the scores or hundreds of the brothers
from the mujahedeen ... to press the American forces outside" Fallujah,
- "We chose the path of armed jihad and say clearly
that ridding Iraq of the occupation will not be done by ballots. Ayad Allawi's
government ... represents the fundamentalist right-wing of the White House
and not the Iraqi people," he said - a reference to Iraq's prime minister
who gave to the go-ahead for the Fallujah invasion.
- In addition to firing the Mosul police chief, Iraqi authorities
also dispatched four battalions of the Iraqi National Guard from garrisons
along the Syrian and Iranian borders.