posted on Apr, 12 2003 @ 08:40 PM
In the densely populated northeastern slum area of Saddam City, US Marines pulled back to allow local people to hunt žmujahideenÓ volunteer fighters
holed up in the area.
žThe locals said they wanted to take charge of Saddam City and we said: ŽRoger thatŪ,Ó Lt. Col. Lew Craparotta,
commander of a Marine unit that
moved back from the fringes of the suburb, said.
Craparotta said it was not clear how many žthird country nationalsÓ, as the US describes them, were in Saddam City.
Iraq has said thousands of volunteers from across the Arab world came to the country to help fight the US-led invasion.
Local militia and the žmujahideenÓ fought fiercely through Friday night until after dawn, with the sound of sustained small arms and heavy machinegun
fire suggesting substantial clashes between the two groups. US forces were not involved.
Craparotta said a Marine was killed and another injured in an ambush on Friday in the northern sector his unit has moved into.