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U.S. commander: Mosul under control

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posted on Nov, 17 2004 @ 09:41 AM

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- On the second day of increased U.S. and Iraqi security operations in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, conditions are more stable, a top U.S. commander said Wednesday.

"The situation today in Mosul is pretty calm," said Brig. Gen. Carter Ham, commanding general of Task Force Olympia in Mosul.

He said U.S.-led forces and the Nineveh provincial leadership have established control, although there is sporadic fighting.

"There are some isolated instances of insurgent contact, but relatively light," Ham said.

Ham said the pace of fighting has lessened over the last few days.

Since last week, Ham said, "we had one big day of fighting that was pretty tough, frankly, and I would categorize that as a sustained level of combat throughout the day.

"Over the next couple of days, the levels of attacks decreased a bit in intensity and frequency. I would call those sporadic incidents."

Breaking the lull, insurgents fired mortar rounds on the city's al-Ahrar police station in a midday attack.

Capt. Angela M. Bowman with Task Force Olympia said multinational forces are assessing damage to the city's police stations and are determining what repairs and equipment are needed.

Insurgents launched a series of attacks last week on police stations and other government buildings, including an attack late Saturday on an Iraqi national guard base that killed two guardsmen and wounded three others and another that wounded eight guardsmen.

Wednesday's attack on the al-Ahrar police station destroyed three police cars and left the building on fire, witnesses said.

The station in the al-Baath neighborhood in the eastern part of the city was empty at the time.

Mosul police are in the beginning stages of reoccupying the stations, Bowman said. Mosul remains under a curfew from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. (8 a.m.-10 p.m. ET).

Four northern bridges into the city were closed for a second day. The southern-most bridge into Mosul has reopened, but all traffic is being screened at a checkpoint.

In Mosul on Wednesday, there was report of a heavy presence of multinational forces and Iraqi national guard members in sections of the city, including heavy security around Mosul General Hospital and al-Jamhouri hospital.

No insurgent activity was reported Wednesday

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