RAMADI, Iraq - Rebel fighters massed in the centre of the restive Iraqi city of Ramadi Tuesday after US military snipers withdrew from their positions following 24 hours of clashes, an AFP correspondent said.
The US military could not immediately be contacted for comment.
US snipers left a hotel from where they were able to control most of Ramadi's main roads, but the military remained in its headquarters in the governor's office nearby, the correspondent said.
Other US soldiers left the city for their bases in the east and west of the city.
As the snipers departed, large crowds of armed insurgents, their faces hidden by scarves, began dancing in the street and shooting in to the air, yelling "Allah Akbar" (God is great).
Banners proclaiming solidarity with insurgents in Fallujah, where US-led forces launched a massive offensive to retake the city on Monday, were hung in the streets.
"The residents of Ramadi condemn the attack against Fallujah and we appeal to the inhabitants of Ramadi to wage jihad against the American occupants who want to eradicate Islam," said one man who did not want to be named.
Seven Iraqis were killed and 24 were injured during the previous day's fighting, said Dr Saad Dulaimi at Ramadi's main hospital, although he said it was unclear how many of the casualties were insurgents.