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Iran Missile Kills 10, Injures 106 in Baghdad

November 09, 1987|From Times Wire Services

NICOSIA, Cyprus — An Iranian missile slammed into the heart of Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 10 people and wounding 106, Iraq's military command said.

An Iraqi military spokesman said the missile hit a densely populated residential area of the capital, killing at least six children and four women and destroying an apartment building.

Tehran radio, monitored in Nicosia, said Iran fired two missiles at Iraq's state-run television and radio headquarters as well as Baghdad's central communications center. But Iraq made no mention of a second missile.

"The rulers of Baghdad intensified their attacks on Iran's non-military areas on the eve of the Arab summit to give summiteers the impression that Iraq is not in a weak position vis-a-vis Iran," a spokesman for Iran's Revolutionary Guards said, according to Tehran radio.

New Escalation

The spokesman warned that "more crushing attacks" will be unleashed against Iraq so long as it continues its "wicked acts" against non-Arab Iran.

Arab leaders convened a summit Sunday in Amman, Jordan, to seek a united stand behind Iraq in an effort to end the seven-year-old Persian Gulf War.

Hours before the missile attack, Iran said its warplanes bombed an industrial target in northeast Iraq near the Kirkuk oil field.

Sunday's attack on Baghdad was announced only hours after the minister in charge of the Revolutionary Guards, Mohsen Rafighdost, was quoted as saying that Iran is on the threshold of manufacturing its own surface-to-surface missiles copied from the Soviet-made Scud missiles that Iran is believed to have fired at Baghdad previously.

The missile attack--Iran's 17th this year and the first since Oct. 30--came amid a new escalation in the war over the last 10 days despite diplomatic efforts at the United Nations to arrange a cease-fire.

Iraq last week said it hit six tankers transporting oil from Iran's Kharg Island offshore terminal. It also reported numerous bombing raids on Iranian oil installations, including an apparently devastating attack on Iran's Japanese-built petrochemical complex outside the port of Bandar Khomeini.

Iraq and its allies hope that the Arab summit being held in Amman will put pressure on Iran to accept U.N. Security Council Resolution 598, which ordered a cease-fire in the gulf war.

A commentary on Tehran radio last week branded the summit as treason to the Islamic world and said it was convened out of hostility to Iran.

In Washington, meanwhile, the U.S. Navy said three American warships and a Kuwaiti tanker flying the American flag have completed the 16th U.S.-escorted convoy through the Persian Gulf.

The ships steamed safely through the Strait of Hormuz and into the Gulf of Oman on Sunday afternoon, the U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

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