Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Tuesday November 15, 2005 1:46 PM
By ROBERT H. REID
Associated Press Writer
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - U.S. and Iraqi forces fighting insurgents near the Syrian border ran into fierce resistance Tuesday, with troops encountering 107 explosive booby traps and killing at least 30 insurgents, the military said.
The U.S. command said three U.S. Marines have died in combat while trying to clear the town of Obeidi as part of ``Operation Steel Curtain'' since Monday. At least 80 insurgents have been killed in the same period, mostly in airstrikes, the statement said.
``Iraqi and coalition forces continue to clear the city house by house, occasionally encountering buildings that are rigged with explosives and triggered to detonate upon entering the building,'' the statement said. ``Numerous weapons caches have also been seized, to include several that contained suicide vests and bomb making material.''
The U.S.-Iraqi attack on Obeidi was the latest stage of an offensive to clear al-Qaida-led insurgents from a string of towns and cities in the Euphrates River valley near the border with Syria and seal off a major route for foreign fighters sneaking into Iraq.