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Marines Fight Fierce Battle

Marines Fight Fierce Battle

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(Baghdad, Iraq-AP) -- U-S Marines north of Baghdad have taken control of a palace after a fierce, three-hour firefight.

An undetermined Iraqi force used rocket-propelled grenades, hitting some American vehicles. There were no serious injuries among the Americans.

The confrontation came a day after Baghdad fell to the U-S-led coalition. The apparent collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime set off joyous celebrations in the Iraqi capital.

Residents used shoes and slippers, sledgehammers, cardboard boxes, sticks and garbage. They pelted, swatted and swung just about anything they could find at the toppled statue of Saddam Hussein.

There was also scattered sniper fire directed at the U-S troops, and fighting broke out in some parts of the city. In one neighborhood, hundreds of Iraqis who'd been cheering American troops came under heavy automatic weapons fire at sunset, apparently from Iraqi fighters. At least six people were killed in a car riddled by bullets.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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