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In Iraq: call for strikes, rumors of terror plans

+ U.S. troops said violence flared in the Abu Ghraib suburb, west of Baghdad, when their forces came under grenade attack in a market area, slightly wounding two soldiers. Iraqi police said the violence started when the troops tried to clear market stalls from a main road. Two civilians were killed and 17 others hurt.

+ Graffiti and fliers popped up around Baghdad on Friday, calling for a three-day strike starting today to mark the beginning of an uprising against Americans.

+ Rumors circulated on street corners and in mosques about a new cycle of violence that foreign terrorists were planning.

+ Near Khaldiyah, a soldier from the 82nd Airborne Division was killed Friday in a roadside bomb attack.

+ American troops swept into Uja, the town where Saddam Hussein was born, and ordered all residents 18 and older to register for identity cards. U.S. officials suspect the community of being a secret base for funding and planning assaults against coalition forces.

+ Insurgents attacked the mayor's office in Fallujah with rocket-propelled grenades, wounding two police officers.

+ October stands as the bloodiest month for U.S. troops since major combat operations ended six months ago. The death toll last month leaped to at least 33 officially confirmed fatalities by hostile action, compared with 16 in September and 12 in August. Nearly half of the recent deaths occurred in the last week, a period that included the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. The war months of March and April were the bloodiest, with 39 and 37 hostile deaths, respectively.

+ The home leave program for troops serving in Iraq is being expanded. Beginning Sunday, some 480 soldiers, up from 280, will leave daily from the Kuwait facility where troops are gathered for departures. Of some 10,000 troops who have received their two-week rest and recuperation trips, about 200 have not returned at the appointed time and place, officials say. They say a rate of 2 percent absent without leave is not unusual during a conflict or even sometimes for returnees after a holiday.

+ The Senate plans to give final approval to a compromise $87.5-billion package for Iraq and Afghanistan on Monday. The House approved the bill early Friday.

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