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SHOWDOWN WITH IRAQ

3 Civilians Injured by Allied Air Attacks, Baghdad Claims

March 01, 2003|From Reuters

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi military said air raids on northern and southern Iraq by U.S. and British planes injured three civilians and destroyed an airport radar station Friday.

"The enemy attacked our civilian and infrastructure facilities in Nineveh province, injuring three citizens and damaging three cars," said an army spokesman quoted by the official Iraqi News Agency.

An Iraqi military spokesman also said U.S. planes attacked the radar station of Basra airport in southern Iraq.

Washington and London offered no immediate comment.

Baghdad routinely describes the targets of the air raids as civilian, while U.S. and British military authorities say they attack only military targets and strive to avoid civilian casualties.

Nineveh lies within the northern "no-fly" zone patrolled by U.S. and British planes since the 1991 Persian Gulf War. There is a similar zone in the south.

U.S. and British jets have increased the frequency of attacks on Iraqi air defense missiles and radar and communications sites in the no-fly zones as the two countries build up forces in the Persian Gulf in preparation for a possible attack on Iraq.

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