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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 November, 2004, 15:13 GMT
Eyewitness: Defiance amid carnage
As US forces battle insurgents in streets strewn with rubble and corpses, the BBC News website spoke by phone to Fadhil Badrani, an Iraqi journalist and resident of Falluja who reports regularly for Reuters and BBC World Service in Arabic.

We are publishing his and other eyewitness accounts from the city in order to provide the fullest possible range of perspectives from those who are there:

US troops in Falluja (TV image)
The heaviest fighting has been in the north of Falluja

I went for a walk around the city last night after the Americans pulled back.

It was very quiet - often the only sounds coming from the movement of fighters along streets and rooftops.

In places, it was also very dark, with only the occasional rocket or flare lighting the way.

Wherever I went, I found broken buildings and bodies - local people and fighters killed on the streets.

Clutching weapons

I also saw four crippled US tanks and three abandoned Humvees.

In the Hasbiyyah area, I counted the bodies of at least six US soldiers lying on the ground.

Click here for a satellite map of the city showing troop movements and key sites

Some of them were badly mangled with various bits blown off. Others were in better condition, as if they had taken small-arms fire.

I noticed two of the US soldiers were still clutching their guns tightly across their chests. But most of their weapons were missing.

Some of the dead are beginning to rot in the streets.

But the living do not exactly smell great either - I have not had a bath for a week. Nor have I shaved.

There is no real rest here, day or night.

Jolan flashpoint

The US brought in a very big force on Wednesday morning.

The mosques no longer broadcast the daily call to prayer but nor are they silent.

US wounded
US soldiers evacuate a wounded colleague from Falluja

Every time a big bomb lands nearby, the cry rises from the minarets: "Allahu Akbar" [God is great].

The worst fighting is to the north of the city, in the Jolan district.

This is where a lot of the fighters have been based.

Incidentally, it is also where US security guards were ambushed in April, leading to the first siege of Falluja.

I think it is misleading to say the US controls 70% of the city because the fighters are constantly on the move.

They go from street to street, attacking the army in some places, letting them through elsewhere so that they can attack them later.

The fighters have told me they are prepared to resist the Americans until the death.

They say they are fighting not just for Falluja, but for all Iraq.

They express confidence that they will win in the end.

They say the idea is to inflict enough casualties on the American troops to force them to reconsider their mission.

Other interviews with Fadhil Badrani:

Translation from Arabic by Jumbe Omari Jumbe of bbcarabic.com

Falluja residents give eyewitness account of battle



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