CAIRO, Egypt – A posting on an Islamic Web site Friday made a rare admission of significant casualties among insurgents fighting U.S. forces in Iraq, saying 24 guerrillas, most of them non-Iraqi Arabs, were killed in battles in Fallujah the day before.
The posting on a site known as a clearinghouse for militant Muslim statements said three hours of fighting in Fallujah on Thursday resulted in the “martyrdom” of 24 fighters from different Islamic factions, 19 of them from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Syria and Jordan. The rest were said to be Iraqis.
Such postings often refer to large U.S. casualties. References to dead among the insurgents aren’t unusual, but usually the numbers given are small.
Fallujah saw some of the heaviest fighting in weeks on Thursday, with U.S. warplanes and tanks bombarding guerrilla positions in a town already devastated by a U.S. offensive last month. At least three U.S. Marines were killed, according to the military.