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  US troops start Falluja assault
Updated 08 November 2004, 08.35
US troops move in
US and Iraqi forces have started their assault on the rebel-held city of Falluja, taking two bridges and a hospital on Sunday night.

Thousands of American troops have gathered on the outskirts of the city following a spate of attacks by rebels which left 60 people dead.

The troops used night vision to seize the bridges, which are the main routes out of the west of the city.

As dawn broke, coalition forces were coming under heavy fire from rebels.

US troops take up their position
US troops take up their position

US planes have been battering what they call rebel positions for the past few weeks in a bid to make entry into the city easier.

Emergency

On Sunday, the Iraqi prime minister Iyad Allawi declared a 60-day state of emergency across the country.

The Iraqi government said it was in response to violence carried out by "criminals and terrorists" who wanted to stop the upcoming elections in the country.

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