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US MARINES sweeping Fallujah yesterday uncovered a vast network of tunnels and underground bunkers used by rebels.

Warplanes dropped thousands of tons of explosives on the tunnels in a bid to kill remaining insurgents.

Four 2,000lb bombs were dropped and set off 45 minutes of explosions as underground munitions dumps were ignited.

Insurgents had even stocked the network with medical supplies.

The warren-like system may be a throwback to Saddam's reign when his Ba'ath party ruled.

The tunnels - a favourite hideout for Saddam - are a chilling reminder of those used by Viet Cong guerillas in Vietnam.

Last December Saddam was found cowering in an underground cell he had hidden in for weeks.

Fallujah's Ba'ath Party HQ was one of the most powerful in the pro-Saddam Sunni Triangle.

Yesterday it emerged up to 38 American soldiers and six Iraqi troops were killed in the Fallujah push.

The death toll emerged as American commanders claimed they had killed more than 1,200 rebels in Fallujah.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 15, 2004
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