Life on the Front Lines

After a tense standoff, the U.S. pulls back from Fallujah. But for the Marines on the ground, the war rages on. PAUL QUINN-JUDGE reports from Iraq's nastiest battlefield

Dawn in Fallujah, and the men of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines' Easy Company, part of the 1st U.S. Marine Expeditionary Force, are withdrawing under fire. At 4:30 that morning, 150 Marines had moved into the southern edge of the city to destroy two bunkers that insurgents were using to fire on their positions. Easy's Third Platoon moved in to inspect one of the buildings, which had been hit the day before by a 500-lb. bomb. Platoon Commander 2nd Lieut. Ilario Pantano reported back that they had found gun emplacements and binoculars and that the building was still usable by insurgents....

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