Other items: Militant group claims it killed 2 Americans; Turkish police officers killed in car ambush; Harrison Ford set for film on Iraq conflict.

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FALLUJAH, Iraq — American troops face sporadic but cunning resistance from insurgents as they sweep the city of Fallujah more than a month after U.S. and Iraqi forces invaded the militants’ stronghold, U.S. officials said yesterday.

“Pretty much the ones who have wanted to be martyrs outright have been killed, and the ones who remain are the smart ones, or the ones who have been able to avoid our clearing forces, so we continue to clear, to back-clear and to clear again,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Wilson, deputy for current operations for the 1st Marine Division.

The Marine officials said the insurgents are far weaker now, pointing to a 60 percent drop in the number of attacks in western Iraq from the week before the Nov. 8 invasion to last week. They said a cordon is keeping insurgents from coming back in large numbers.

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Militant group claims

it killed 2 Americans


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — An Iraqi militant group, the Islamic Jihad Brigades, claimed responsibility yesterday for the killing of two American contractors Dec. 8, saying they were CIA and military agents.

The video on an Internet site displayed identifications that appeared to show one of them with President Bush.

The documents belonged to Joseph Wemple and Dale Stoffer, who worked for a U.S. construction company and were reportedly killed in an ambush outside Baghdad.


Turkish police officers

killed in car ambush


BAGHDAD, Iraq — Masked gunmen in the turbulent city of Mosul ambushed a car carrying Turkish police officers yesterday, shooting three to death and decapitating a fourth who tried to run away, witnesses said.

In a daytime attack reminiscent of the killing of four U.S. security contractors in Fallujah last spring, militants looted the policemen’s weapons and set the car ablaze. After the attack, residents stood around the burning car as the bodies lay face down in the street.

The four had been providing security for the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad and likely were returning home, a U.S. official said.


Harrison Ford set

for film on conflict


LOS ANGELES — Producers at Universal Pictures are developing what would be Hollywood’s first feature film about the war in Iraq, with Harrison Ford ready to portray a U.S. general in the movie, the studio said yesterday.

The combat drama would be based on the upcoming book “No True Glory,” an account of the battle for Fallujah by Bing West, a Marine veteran and former U.S. assistant defense secretary now covering the war as a foreign correspondent for the online publication Slate, a studio spokesman said.

The movie is envisioned as a broader look at the Fallujah conflict in terms of the connections between war and politics as seen through eyes of the troops, their commanders and civilian leaders, Universal’s spokesman said.