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BAGHDAD — As U.S. Marines rounded up at least 22 suspected insurgents near Fallujah in the latest of a series of operations in western Iraq, two other Marines were killed in fighting farther west in Hit, military officials said Monday.

The Marines, who were assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), were killed Sunday “by indirect fire while conducting combat operations,” Marine officials said in a news release Monday.

Hit is along the Euphrates River northwest of Fallujah. Since spring, it has been the site of several offensives by Marines aiming to stem the flow of weapons, money and fighters from across the Syrian border.

Operation Scimitar, or “Qmtia” in Arabic, is focused on the area around Fallujah and is the latest in a series of operations in Anbar province. It began July 7 in the town of Zaidon, about 20 miles southeast of Fallujah.

More than 500 Marines and 100 Iraqi soldiers are involved in the effort to “deny anti-Iraqi [forces] sanctuary for planning, training and storing ammunition,” the Marine command at Camp Blue Diamond said in the release.

The last major operation in the area, Operation Sword, took place in the area between Hit and Hadithah from June 28 to July 7. No major fighting was reported during that operation.

Elsewhere, in Tikrit, Task Force Liberty soldiers detained 13 people suspected of manufacturing and setting roadside bombs. Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, found weapons, ammunition and bomb-making materials on several of those detained, Army officials said.

Farther north, in Mosul, soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Division arrested 11 people; soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment detained several others in Tal Afar.


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