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UPDATED: 11:18, November 07, 2004
20 US marines wounded in action west of Baghdad
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A total of 20 US Marines were wounded in action in the restive Iraqi city of Ramadi west of Baghdad, a US military spokesman said on November 6.

The servicemen were injured while conducting "increased security operations" and all the 20 were assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said the spokesman, revising an earlier tally of 14 wounded.

The spokesman did not disclose any further details about the incident, which appeared to be one of the fiercest attacks against US forces in the area.

The report of the injuries was released following overnight air and ground bombardments in Fallujah, another flashpoint city within 60 km east of Ramadi.

Three Iraqis were killed and seven others injured in the strikes, which the US military said had destroyed "three barricaded fighting positions, an anti-aircraft weapon and a weapons cache."

Surrounded by US and Iraqi armed forces ready for a major offensive, Fallujah has witnessed increasing US nightly strikes and the active return of fire from insurgents taking positions there.

Both Ramadi and Fallujah remained on the top list of restive cities to be retaken from the rebels ahead of the nation-wide elections due in January.

Source: Xinhua

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