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UPDATED: 08:13, September 06, 2004
US troops suffer heavy casualties in Iraq: report
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About 1,100 US soldiers and Marines were wounded in Iraq during August, by far the highest combat injury toll for any month since the Iraq war began in March 2003, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

The sharp rise in battlefield injuries results from more than three weeks of fighting by two Army and one Marine battalion in the southern city of Najaf and other cities, the report said.

American units frequently faced combat in a sprawling Shiite Muslim slum in Baghdad and in the Sunni cities of Fallujah, Ramadi and Samarra, all of which remain under the control of insurgents two months after the transfer of political authority.

Najaf and the neighboring town of Kufa, about 90 miles south of Baghdad, have been quiet since a peace deal was brokered in late August by Shiite Muslim's top leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

But American forces continued to clash with Sunni Muslim insurgents and foreign-born fighters west and north of Baghdad.

Since the start of the Iraq war, 979 US troops have died in thecountry and almost 7,000 have been wounded, the report said.

Source: Xinhua

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