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Arabic: 'al-faluwja
Other spellings: Falluja; Fallouja

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Fallujah, Iraq

Fallujah, Iraq

City in central Iraq with 260,000 inhabitants (2002 estimate), on the Euphrates River, in the province of al-Anbar. As of 2007, perhaps more than 100,000 live in nearby refugee camps.
Fallujah is to a great extent an industrial city, home to several large factories.
Fallujah is well-connected to other urban centres of Iraq, but it is off the main highway west of Baghdad. Baghdad is 70 km east.
Fallujah is famous for its many mosques, about 200 in and around the city.
Falluja was one of the most important Sunni cities in Iraq, one of a few cities having benefitted from the regime of Saddam Hussein.

The history of Fallujah goes several thousand years back in time.
258 CE: A Jewish academy is established in Fallujah, or Pumbedita, as it is known in Aramaic, becoming one of the leading centres of Jewish learning.
1038: The Jewish academy is closed.
Since 1947: Fallujah grows quickly, from a town of 10,000. It becomes a centre of heavy industrializiation
1991: During the Gulf War, Fallujah is heavily attacked by international forces.
2003: With the US/British-Iraq War, army soldiers blend into the civilian population of Fallujah.
April 28: Clashes begin between locals and US troops.
— A local war is fought out in Fallujah, into which also al-Qa'ida aligned groups get involved.
2004 July: Sovereignty over Fallujah is returned to Iraqis, with the interim Iraqi government.
November: US campaign to take back effective control of Fallujah, causing the death of more than 5,000.
December: Civilians of Fallujah who had escaped the clashes of November, begin to return to their homes. Still, a large number of Fallujah's houses were by now destroyed.
2006: Reports claim that Fallujah has become stable and relatively safe for both its inhabitants and officials.

By Tore Kjeilen