A Marine battalion now in Iraq had expected to return soon to North Carolina, but the 900 infantry troops will stay another 60 to 90 days because of President Bush's plan to increase troops in Iraq. The 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment is one of three Camp Lejeune-based battalions already in Iraq. Elements of five other Lejeune-based battalions account for more than five thousand Marines already on duty in Anbar. Also, more than 17,000 fresh Marines from Lejeune are headed in the weeks ahead to Iraq to take over duty in Anbar province from a California-based command.
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