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Meanwhile, a wave of insurgent violence in other parts of Iraq continued, with fighting on Wednesday killing at least 18 people, including an U.S. soldier and a foreign contractor. Authorities clamped an immediate curfew on the northern city of Mosul as U.S. and Iraqi forces clashed with gunmen there. Iraqi police and gunmen were also fighting in Baghdad and south of the capital.
Top Islamic Cleric Heads to Arafat's Side U.S. Forces Hold 70 Percent of Fallujah Key Insurgents May Have Already Fled Fallujah The insurgents have been seeking to open a "second front" to divert U.S. and Iraqi forces from the Fallujah offensive.
Armed men snatched a cousin of Allawi and the cousin's daughter-in-law from their home in Baghdad, and later a militant group calling itself the Ansar al-Jihad threatened to kill the hostages within 48 hours unless the Fallujah siege was ended. The group's claim to be holding the captives could not be verified.
Originally posted by BlackJackal
The statement urged Iraqis to stay at home Wednesday ''to avoid putting their lives in danger.''
Fighting has begun in Mosul and Bagdhad.