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  War 'coming to close' after key town taken
Updated 14 April 2003, 17.52
Smoke from bombs rising over the fields of Tikrit
Smoke from bombs in Tikrit

Top US military bosses have said the war with Iraq is "coming to a close" now they've taken control of a key town.

They've taken Tikrit, which is the hometown of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Although this doesn't mean the war is going to end really quickly, it is an important stage in bringing fighting to an end.

Looting

America is also going to be withdrawing two of its three aircraft carriers from the Gulf this week.

In cities that are already under control, the US military has promised to bring back law and order.

There's been widespread looting in many places, but this is gradually stopping.

More than 2,000 Iraqi policemen are said to have returned to work after the US appealed for them to come back and help the situation.

Meanwhile, Saddam Hussein's half-brother has been captured by coalition forces.

Watban Ibrahim Hasan was a senior figure in Saddam's regime. He's now being questioned by US forces.

Other main points

  • President Bush has said that Syria "must co-operate" with them in dismantling Saddam Hussein's regime and urged the country not to help his officials
  • Seven US soldiers who were being held by Iraqis have been rescued by US forces travelling from Baghdad to Tikrit.
  • The BBC reporter in Kirkuk says returning Kurdish refugees have threatened to throw out the Arab families who now live there.
  • The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are sending a team of people to Iraq to work out what rebuilding needs to be done.


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More InfoBORDER=0
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Past StoriesBORDER=0
US troops enter Saddam's home town
Iraqis demand end to violence and looting
Kurdish forces start to leave Kirkuk
Some British soldiers begin heading home

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