Sunday, March 23
Fierce resistance blunts US push
BBC News, 24 March, 2003, 01:13 GMT

Five US soldiers have been captured and paraded on Iraqi television, on what American commanders said was their toughest day of fighting since war began.
Central Baghdad was hit by several large explosions early on Monday, as ground forces continued to meet resistance in the push to the capital.

US Marines suffered up to 10 dead and 14 wounded in heavy fighting with Iraqi forces in and around the southern city of Nasiriya, US commanders said. [...]

US troops pushing north from the southern city of Basra have reached the holy town of Najaf, just 160 kilometres (100 miles) from Baghdad.

But other American units are still engaged in fierce fighting in Nasiriya, a key crossing point on the Euphrates river, and other areas of southern Iraq.

Coalition Central Command has accused Iraqi special units - some of President Saddam Hussein's most loyal soldiers - of disguising themselves as civilians, and of firing on coalition troops after initially signalling that they were surrendering.[...]
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