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Monday, May 10, 1999 Published at 00:00 GMT 01:00 UK


'Four dead' as allies strike Iraq

Allied planes have been patrolling Iraqi skies since 1991

Four people were killed and five were wounded on Sunday when Western planes bombed targets in southern Iraq, according to the Iraqi government.

Neither the United States nor the UK have confirmed the attacks, which Iraq says took place in Basra province.


[ image:  ]
Basra falls within the southern no-fly zone imposed on Iraq by the Western allies.

An Iraqi military spokesman said the planes bombed a civilian installation in Abu al-Khasib region, killing one person and wounding two.

He said anti-aircraft defences had then hit one of the aircraft, after which the planes had bombed a farmer's house in the Qurna region, resulting in three further deaths and three more injuries.

Saturday attack

The latest attacks follow Iraqi reports that three people were killed when US warplanes bombed northern Iraq, on Sunday.

US and British planes have been patrolling the skies over northern and southern Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War to protect the Kurdish and Shi'a Muslim minorities there.

Attacks such as these have become frequent since December when Iraq began actively challenging US and British jets that patrol the no-fly zones in the north and south of the country.

Iraq does not recognise the legitimacy of the zones, which are not covered by a specific United Nations resolution, and has vowed to oppose them.



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