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  US sends more troops to key Iraqi town
Updated 31 March 2003, 14.53
US marines near the town of Nasiriya
America is sending in thousands more troops to help them gain control of the key Iraqi town of Nasiriya.

Around 5,000 special forces and marines are going there to help the 7,000 coalition troops who are already there, and meeting lots of opposition.

US marines have also found stashes of gas masks, chemical protection suits and weapons in three abandoned Iraqi camps near Nasiriya, it's been reported.

Battle

But as coalition forces try to take control of the town, they have already had successes in other areas.

Baghdad has seen more heavy bombing
Military bosses claim they have surrounded the key town of Najaf, which is just south of the Iraqi capital.

British forces also say they have taken the important village of Abu al-Qassib, near Basra, after a day-long battle against hundreds of Iraqi soldiers. They said it was some of the hardest opposition they've met so far.

Forces are now just one mile away from Basra, Iraq's second-largest city.

There's also been almost constant bombing in Baghdad, day and night, as US and UK forces continue to attack key government and military targets.

Other main points:

  • Three people died and one was injured after a US marine helicopter crash in southern Iraq
  • The US military said 100 Iraqis were killed and 50 Prisoners of War were taken on Sunday
  • A UK serviceman was killed during fighting on the Faw peninsula
  • In northern Iraq, the UN children's agency Unicef are hoping to get aid supplies across the border with Turkey



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