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Iran launches offensive on port

Iranian forces fighting to drive Iraqi troops out of Iran launched a new offensive to recapture the key port of Khorramshahr Saturday night.

A military communique broadcast by Tehran Radio said Iranian forces had imposed a complete siege on Khorramshahr, breaking through Iraqi defenses west and northwest of the port.

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Baghdad Radio quoted an Iraqi military spokesman as saying that Iraqi forces had foiled an attempt by Iranian troops to enter Khorramshahr but fighting was still going on north of the city.

The Iranian attacks followed a 10-day lull during which Iranian forces appeared to be catching their breath after sweeping the Iraqis out of large sections of territory north of Khorramshahr. Iraq has not disguised the fact that its forces have pulled back from positions deep inside the Iranian oil province of Khuzestan to defend the strategic city, control of which is regarded as possibly decisive to the outcome of the 20-month-old war.

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