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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 August, 2004, 13:05 GMT 14:05 UK
In pictures: Besieged Najaf
Children peer out from a house in Najaf
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Frightened children look out from a house as a BBC team pass by, heading to the centre of Najaf.
A police sharpshooter on a car in Najaf
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Few are outside in the besieged city, only armed police, troops and the Shia militia defending the Imam Ali shrine.
An American armoured personnel carrier in Najaf
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US tanks and armoured personnel carriers are closer to the shrine than any time in the 18-day stand-off.
A deserted street in Najaf
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Most residents are staying inside, saying they fear both the shells fired from afar and snipers' bullets
Smoke and dust rises after a mortar shell lands in Najaf
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Our correspondents are driven back when a mortar shell lands barely 100m away - they decide it is too dangerous to go on.




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