Major developments concerning Iraq

Monday, April 12, 2004

  • More than 600 Iraqis have been killed in Fallujah since Marines began a siege against Sunni insurgents there a week ago, the city's hospital chief said.

    U.S. Marines sat on folded cardboard boxes in the middle of a vast soft drink factory in Fallujah to listen to an Easter service, their weapons and flak jackets by their sides. "We ask you, oh Lord ... that your spirit move through this action ... and that peace will come," said Navy Chaplain Wayne Hall, 36, of Oklahoma City, Okla.

    Japan waited anxiously for the release of three Japanese civilians taken hostage last week in Iraq as the government struggled to determine whether the gunmen holding them planned to set them free.

    More than 1.5 million Shiite pilgrims massed in Karbala to mark one of their holiest days as thousands of gunmen from an outlawed militia patrolled the streets of the city of shrines.

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