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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Troops Lock Down Fallujah

FALLUJAH, Iraq -- Hundreds of U.S. and Iraqi troops in tanks, trucks and other vehicles surrounded the turbulent city of Fallujah on Monday ahead of a major operation against insurgents following the grisly slayings of four American security contractors last week.

U.S. commanders have been vowing a massive response to pacify Fallujah, one of the most violent cities in the Sunni Triangle, the heartland of the anti-U.S. insurgency north and west of Baghdad. After the slayings of the Americans on Wednesday, residents dragged the four bodies through the streets, hanging two of their charred corpses from a bridge, in horrifying scenes that showed the depth of anti-U.S. sentiment in the city.

U.S. troops closed off entrances to Fallujah with earth barricades ahead of the planned operation, code named "Vigilant Resolve." Military patrols entered the city's outer suburbs on reconnaissance missions and to broadcast warnings on loud speakers to residents to stay indoors until Tuesday.

Explosions and gunfire could be heard coming from the center of the city.

Some 1,200 U.S. Marines and two battalions of Iraqi security forces were poised to enter the city to arrest suspected insurgents, said Lieutenant James Vanzant, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. He would not say when the troops would enter the city.