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US Military: Coalition Forces Kill 70 Insurgents in Western Iraq

The U.S. military in Iraq says coalition forces have killed an estimated 70 terrorists in separate operations in areas of Al Anbar province west of Baghdad.

A military statement says 20 insurgents were killed Sunday when U.S. troops called in aircraft to bomb a group of suspects preparing to plant roadside bombs near Ramadi. The military says another 50 insurgents were killed in clashes and air strikes in the region.

Local residents say at least half of the dead were civilians.

Meanwhile, President Bush praised Iraqis for turning out in large numbers to vote in Saturday's constitutional referendum, despite the threat of insurgent violence. Mr. Bush also praised U.S. and Iraqi security forces for preventing violence at polling stations.

As the vote count continues, Iraqi officials say initial results indicate that voters have approved the constitution, including in two key Sunni Arab dominated provinces (Diyala and Nineva) where analysts had expected residents to vote against the charter.