US, UK jets bomb Iraqi oil factory; four killed
BAGHDAD, Dec 1: Four people were killed and 27 injured on Sunday
when US and British warplanes struck civilian installations in
"Four citizens were killed and 27 injured when enemy warplanes
bombed civilian and services installations" in Basra and two other
southern provinces, a military spokesman was quoted by the INA news
agency as saying.
Residents of Basra said at least eight people were killed and 20
injured when Western warplanes bombed the premises of the Southern
Two rockets hit the compound in the morning, killing at least eight
people and wounding around 20, they said. A large number of passers-
by were also slightly injured by flying glass. Between 600 and 700
employees were in the premises at the time of the raid on Basra, 560
kilometres south of Baghdad.
The military spokesman said coalition aircraft raided the provinces
of Basra, Zi Qar, 375 kilometres south of Baghdad, and Al Kut,
170kms south of the capital.
The planes staged 62 "armed sorties" over a dozen locations in the
south, the spokesman said. "Iraqi missile batteries and ground
defences confronted the warplanes, forcing them to flee to their
bases in Kuwait," he said.
"The American and British criminals have thus perpetrated another
ugly crime to be added to their ongoing crimes against the brave and
steadfast people of Iraq," the spokesman added.
The US Central Command said coalition warplanes had bombed an Iraqi
air defence site on Sunday in response to Iraqi anti-aircraft fire
against the US and British aircraft.
"Operation Southern Watch coalition aircraft used precision-guided
weapons today to target Iraqi air defence facilities," 274
kilometres southeast of Baghdad, according to a statement released
from command headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base, outside Tampa,
in the southern US state of Florida.
Sunday's strikes come as UN experts are searching Iraq for forbidden
arms amid US and British charges that it concealed key parts of its
weapons of mass destruction programmes from the previous UN mission,
a claim denied by Baghdad.-AFP