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Monday, May 3, 1999 Published at 23:10 GMT 00:10 UK


Iraq says two killed in air attack

US say their planes bombed Iraqi missile sites in the northern no-fly zone

Iraq says two people were killed and another 12 wounded in western air attacks on Monday.

It said the incident took place in Ninevah Province, about 400 km (250 miles) north of Baghdad.

"One of our civil sites was attacked today by long-distance guided weapons and the bombing led to martyrdom of two civilian citizens and the injury of 12 others," the Iraqi News Agency INA quoted an Iraqi military spokesman as saying.

A US statement issued earlier in Turkey said US warplanes flying from an air base in southern Turkey bombed Iraqi missile sites in the northern no-fly zone on Monday after being fired at.

It said all planes left the area safely.

UN concern

Earlier, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, Hans Von Sponeck, expressed concern about the continued British and American airstrikes.

Mr Von Sponeck was speaking after a tour of the town of Bashiqa in northern Iraq.

He also visited the site where a family of seven, along with 250 of their sheep, were reportedly killed in an attack by American and British planes.

Mr Von Sponeck said he was deeply affected by what he saw and added that the airstrikes were affecting the UN's humanitarian programme in Iraq.

Last week, the Iraqi news agency said 20 people were wounded in a bombing raid by Western aircraft in the north of the country.

The report came shortly after United States forces based in southern Turkey announced that their aircraft had carried out attacks near the northern city of Mosul.

The Americans said their planes struck at air defence sites after being targeted by Iraqi radar and fired on.

Planes from the United States and Britain have been patrolling the skies over northern and southern Iraq since the Gulf War in 1991 to enforce a ban on Iraqi aircraft overflying the areas.

There have been frequent attacks since December when Iraq began actively challenging US and British jets that patrol the no-fly zones to protect Kurds in the north and Shi'a Muslims in the south from possible attack by Baghdad's forces.





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