Several months too late, but still welcome news…
FALLUJAH, Iraq – U.S. troops, on the verge of gaining control of the city, fought pockets of resistance in this former militant stronghold Wednesday and uncovered what the Iraqi commander said were “hostage slaughterhouses” in which foreign captives had been killed.
Insurgents sought to open a second front, mounting attacks outside Fallujah. They also kidnapped three relatives of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and reportedly threatened further revenge against the leader. Militants also claimed to have abducted 20 Iraqi National Guard troops in Fallujah.
Throughout the day, Americans hit the militants with artillery and mortars, and warplanes fired on the city’s main street and market as well as Jolan, one of several neighborhoods where troops were skirmishing with militants.
In what could be a sign of progress, the Marines began turning over Jolan to Iraqi forces, signaling that Marines consider the area relatively secure. Jolan was considered one of the strongest positions held by militants inside Fallujah.James Joyner reports that the terrorist have threatened to behead the Allawi relatives.