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Fierce fighting reported deep in Iraqi territory

Iran said fierce fighting raged Thursday deep inside Iraqi territory on the northern sector of the Gulf war front, where Iranian troops launched a major offensive Wednesday night.

The national news agency Irna, monitored in London, said Iraqi troops and ''armed rebels'' had been driven out of Iraqi territory between the northwest Iranian border towns of Baneh and Marivan. Irna said the attack was intended to destroy the rebels' supply lines and cut them off from the Iraqis, and was also aimed at taking strategic heights northwest of Marivan. Iraq said earlier its troops had started to repulse the Iranian offensive.

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