Kinda reminds me of the NAZI's on what they did to the jews.
Troops find hostage 'slaughterhouses' in Falluja
Coalition forces seize 70 percent of city
FALLUJA, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi troops retaking the city of Falluja have found hostage "slaughterhouses" where people were held captive and beheaded,
an Iraqi military official said Wednesday.
Soldiers have found CDs labeled "beheading of ..." and showing the beheadings of hostages.
Black clothing and masks worn by the kidnappers when they made the videos were found, along with banners hoisted in the background, according to Iraqi
and U.S. military officials.
Soldiers said it was apparent that numerous killings had taken place there.
Maj. Gen. Abdul Qader, commander of Iraqi forces in the battle, said he was unsure whether the hostage records included the names of missing British
aid worker Margaret Hassan or missing French journalists Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot.
In Baghdad, meanwhile, a car bomb detonated Wednesday near an emergency police patrol, killing at least seven people and wounding three police
officers, said Col. Adnan Abdul Rahman, spokesman for Iraq's Ministry of Interior.
Military officials in Falluja said combined U.S. and Iraqi forces have taken control of about 70 percent of the city so far, including key buildings
in the heart of the city.
Troops had expected to encounter heavy resistance in their push to clear the city of insurgents before elections in January. So far, however, fighting
has been light.
Troops have seized the mayor's office, as well as several mosques and bridges, military officials said.
An estimated 10,000 U.S. soldiers and Marines, along with about 2,000 troops from Iraq's new army, have been running into small pockets of fighters
as they fight their way through the city.
The offensive launched Sunday is dubbed Operation New Dawn and targets an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 insurgents. (Gallery)
Eleven U.S. troops and two Iraqis have been killed since fighting began, officials say. Nine Iraqi soldiers and an unknown number of Ministry of
Interior personnel have been injured.
Iraqi forces have "already acquitted themselves well," searching some of the city's 77 mosques, where they have found "lots of munitions and
weapons," said Lt. Col. Pete Newell with Task Force 2-2 of the Army's 1st Infantry Division.
Newell said his unit has killed or wounded 85 to 90 insurgents. Only a few have been captured.
Insurgent-reinforced strongholds in and around the city have been destroyed, including defensive positions on the outskirts of the city. Combat units
report finding several weapons and explosives caches, along with car bombs and other homemade bombs.
Military officials said two mosques have been searched because weapons were believed to be hidden there. In an effort to preserve the cultural
sensitivity of mosques, only Iraqi forces are sent inside. But U.S. military policy is that, when mosques are used as firing positions, their sanctity
"Today, we saw again the terrorists' practice of abusing public buildings and religious sites to carry out their attacks against Iraqi and
multinational forces," said Thair al-Nakib, spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.
Falluja's Khilafa al-Rashid mosque was being used as a base for military operations, he said. After small arms fire failed to defeat the group,
precision airstrikes were used to secure the area.
"The government will take every step possible to protect the mosques during any military confrontation, but will use the force necessary to evict
terrorists from them in order to protect the security forces and civilians," al-Nakib said. Reconstructing the mosques will begin after security
returns to the city, he said.
"Several groups have approached the government in the last 24 hours to indicate their willingness to cooperate and to surrender to government
authority," said al-Nakib. "The government is willing to offer these groups amnesty, provided that they have not committed major crimes. Discussions
will be held later today in order to explore whether this can bring about an early end to the fighting."
Falluja is considered an insurgent command-and-control center for the rest of the country and a base for Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's
terror network. (Falluja map)
The city was sealed off Sunday, and many insurgents could have slipped out before then, Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz said. As for al-Zarqawi, Metz said, "I
think it would be fair to assume that he has left."
CNN's Baghdad Bureau Chief Jane Arraf, embedded with Army Task Force 2-2, described the urban geography as "very dense."
Arraf said American troops with heavy armor were pushing toward the eastern edge of the city, clearing the way for the Marines.
Allawi has called for insurgents to lay down their weapons. He also ordered a curfew in Baghdad to start at 10:30 p.m. and end at 4 a.m. (2:30 p.m.-8
p.m. ET). The curfew is the first in the capital since October 2003 and has been imposed indefinitely.
This is the third attempt this year to subdue Falluja. Earlier operations in the city -- by U.S. forces and by a short-lived Iraqi force called the
Falluja Brigade -- failed to quell the insurgents.
[edit on 10-11-2004 by Thinker]