Not all insurgents are fighting to the end in Fallujah



The spike in violence accompanied the American-led assault against Fallujah, the main insurgent stronghold, 40 miles west of Baghdad. The week-old offensive in Fallujah has left at least 38 American troops and six Iraqi soldiers dead.

The number of U.S. troops wounded is now 320, though 134 have returned to duty. U.S. officials estimated more than 1,200 insurgents have been killed.

In a telephone interview with reporters at the Pentagon, Marine Col. Michael Regner, operations officer for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said U.S. and Iraqi forces had captured more than 1,052 prisoners in Fallujah, most of them are Iraqis but some foreigners.

"Very few of them are giving up," Regner said. "They're fighting to the death."

He said U.S. troops and Marines were working their way back from the southern part of the city toward the northern part, clearing out pockets of resistance and recovering caches of weapons.

The 1,052 prisoners to go with the 1,200 puts the enemy casualty total in Falujah at 2,252 not counting injured insurgence who have not been captured yet. That is a significant attrition rate for a group that is not believed to have over 12,000 total members. This casualty total does not include the 100's who have made vain attacks and been killed throughout the country since the fallujah operation began. While there have been a few car bombing in recent day, with the loss of Fallujah it will be moredifficult for the insurgencts to build their rolling bombs. The loss of the sanctuary will have a cumulative effect in attriting enemy potential.


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