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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 April 2003, 22:38 GMT 23:38 UK
Reporters' Log: War in Iraq
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The BBC's unrivalled team of correspondents is bringing you news from the Gulf and reaction from around the world. On this page BBC News Online logs their impressions and personal experiences as they watch events unfold.

Tuesday, 1 April

Most recent postings are at the top.

Qatar :: Peter Hunt:: 2220GMT

The Iraqis are saying they have foiled a British attempt to fly troops and equipment into northern Iraq. The Command Centre here are making no comment, and refusing to either confirm or deny it.

Otherwise, the story here is not of a full onslaught on Baghdad but of skirmishes on the outskirts of the city, being portrayed here as an attempt by the forces on the ground to get a sense of the strength of the Republican Guard units there.

On the US military killing civilians at a checkpoint, they're still very much sticking to the script they adopted last night - they expressed an apology but said people at the checkpoint had a right to defend themselves.

You get a sense from what General Myers was saying in Washington that it has taken the Americans quite a period of time to move from being slightly irritated at the way the world was focusing on this, to appreciating that this was actually quite a major incident and needed someone of his stature to apologise, which he did.

Baghdad :: Andrew Gilligan:: 2122GMT

Ordinary citizens here almost seem to be coming to terms with the bombing. It is pretty careful on the whole, it is pretty limited and most of the city remains untouched.

The lights are still on, the buses are still running, the dust carts are still coming round. At the same time there is a deep and growing resentment of what the Americans are doing.

People here don't like Saddam at all but they don't like the Americans any more.

Ankara, Turkey :: Jon Leyne:: 2107GMT

The American secretary of state Colin Powell has arrived in Ankara for a meeting with Turkish leaders.

Speaking to reporters on his plane, Colin Powell said he'd be asking the Turkish government for more help with the war in Iraq and he warned of the lingering sense of disappointment over Turkey's failure to allow in American troops.

Washington D.C. :: Philippa Thomas :: 2054GMT

That was one of the most animated Pentagon briefings I've seen in a long while. Donald Rumsfeld talking about his 'excellent, superb plan', saying that no one's backing away from the plan.

United Nations, New York :: Greg Barrow :: 2024GMT

Senior United Nations officials here at the UN's headquarters have now conceded that they may have to resort to seeking assistance from the British and American troops inside Iraq, for security and logistical support, when the UN's humanitarian agencies return.

This places the UN agencies in the unenviable position of potentially accepting help from an occupying force which has no legitimacy under existing UN resolutions. Officials say it would be sought as a last resort if it was the only way of ensuring the distribution of aid to people in need of assistance.

HMS Splendid, the Gulf :: James Forlong :: 1928GMT

HMS Splendid, one of two Royal Navy submarines in the region. The lives of the 120 men on board and the work they do, for the most part beneath the waves, and out of the spotlight.

The nickname "the silent service" is well deserved. It is a lifestyle chosen by only a minority in the Royal Navy.

On the opening day of the war, three American ships and two submarines, between them, fired a total of fifty Cruise missiles. It's claimed every missile fired from HMS Splendid so far has found its intended target.

Safwan, Southern Iraq :: Karen Allen ::1905GMT

Warning shots were fired by the military as they tried to hand food parcels out here in Safwan. It was a picture of chaos, men at the front trying to clamber onto trucks, men at the back simply watching.

It is the clearest indication yet of just how nervous the RAF regiment soldiers here has become in eastern Safwan.

They are trying to deliver aid but also police a town they have only secured for a week, a town which they fear could still be hiding militiamen.

Nasiriyah, Southern Iraq :: Andrew North ::1840GMT

I was picking up signs today that people were prepared to say they would like to see Saddam Hussein go.

People are still very, very cautious but I think the fact that they were even prepared to say these things out loud was significant.

It does suggest people are starting to feel safe enough to express their feelings.

Nonetheless, the militia forces are still here even if they are on the back foot in this city, so there is still a fear factor operating here.

Baghdad :: Paul Wood ::1820GMT

Even as a new push towards Baghdad begins by coalition troops, Iraqi television is carrying a written statement from President Saddam Hussein promising victory over the United States and Britain.

Read over the famous picture of the President shooting a rifle in the air, the message says, hit them, fight them, they are evil aggressors and they will be defeated.

The President ends by appealing to Muslims everywhere to seek immortality by fighting a holy war or jihad against the invaders.

Southern Iraq :: Clive Myrie ::1800GMT

Local intelligence suggests that Iraqi paramilitaries are still active. And that they are getting their hands on weapons, possibly coming from the north east, from Basra. Attacks could be launched on local forces in the coming days.

Kuwait City :: Owen Bennet-Jones :: 1742GMT

For months now the Kuwaiti's luxury lifestyle has been disrupted by hundreds of thousands of visitors to their tiny country. The first to arrive were the troops. Next it was the journalists, now endlessly debating "is it safe now to cross into Iraq?"

It isn't, and most have stayed put, recycling information from the front lines, Baghdad and central command in Qatar.

Hard news in this war has been provided by the embedded correspondents, those who are moving with the front line troops. They are giving am account of what's happening in real time, information which has never been available in previous conflicts.

And while some of their reports have been very much to the Coalition's liking, others have not. Without them we'd know nothing at all about the civilians who were shot dead at an American checkpoint.

Nasiriya :: Andrew North :: 1726GMT

Doctors at a clinic said they treated six war-related injuries today, but getting an accurate count of civilian casualties in the Nasiriya area is impossible.

Another concern is water shortages and a lack of electricity. US Marines say they're hoping to start working with local engineers to rectify these problems. But with fighting still going on in other parts of the city, it's going to be slow progress.

Jerusalem :: Richard Miron :: 1655GMT

The Israeli army have adopted a tactic which military strategists call 'non-linear warfare'; attacking the enemy from numerous directions.

According to Alon Ben David, a military commentator for Channel Ten Television in Israel, the Israeli army shared these tactics and others with the Americans prior to the conflict in the Gulf.

Last September Martin Van Creveld, a professor of military strategy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, briefed US Marine Core Officers on the use of bulldozers and other tactics.

USS Ponce, the Gulf :: Dominic Hughes :: 1636GMT

The mine clearing operation is focusing on the port of Umm Qasr, and the channel which leads into it.

It is slow, methodical and dangerous work. But a task that the US Navy says is essential if the flow of humanitarian aid to Iraq is to increase.

The work is undertaken by ships from the Royal Navy, the US Navy, helicopters towing mine-detecting equipment, as well as scuba divers and dolphins, which have been trained to recognise the shape of mines which they identify with their own sonar.

South of Baghdad :: Gavin Hewitt :: 1620GMT

The battle for Baghdad is under way. That is the view of American military commanders. They're now attacking the two Republican Guard divisions that are dug in around the southern approaches to the capital.

The next few days will determine how quickly American ground troops reach the outskirts of the capital.

Doha, Qatar :: Paul Adams :: 1419GMT

British officials here will neither confirm nor deny reports of a British operation in northern Iraq around Mosul.

There are pictures being shown on Al Jazeera of British vehicles, supposedly seized in that area. The coy nature of the British response to questions about this suggest it is some sort of special forces operation that appears to have gone wrong.

British officials are extremely unlikely to comment on the record on this at any stage, if it indeed it turns out to be special forces.

Kuwait-Iraq border :: Jon Sopel :: 1342GMT

The convoys passing through here are gargantuan. We've just seen one which must have stretched for two or three miles.

They are taking in reinforcements along a massive supply chain.

It is still dangerous. I was speaking to one driver and he said you'll be driving along and suddenly someone will fire off an AK47, someone will have a rocket-propelled grenade and you never know where it will come from.

That's why these vehicles have machine-gunners posted along the convoy to be the eyes and ears for the driver, looking out for any danger.

Damascus :: Kim Ghattas :: 1321GMT

Syria has led opposition in the Arab world to the war against Iraq. It has called on Arab leaders not to lend any assistance to US troops in the region.

The highest religious authority in Syria has just called for jihad against foreign troops in Iraqi and dozens, perhaps hundreds of young Arab men have transited through Syria to Baghdad to fight with Iraqi troops.

Despite warnings from the US to Syria to stop supporting the regime of Saddam Hussein and terrorist organisations, Damascus seems undeterred for the moment.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1312GMT

It hasn't been a very intense day of bombing here today . It is very difficult for ordinary Iraqis here now, there are no communications, the telephone exchange has been hit.

Doha, Qatar :: Paul Adams :: 1301GMT

Communication is not easy between the troops and the local Iraqi people.

The troops have not been taught Arabic on mass. There are some translators amongst the ranks but maybe not with every unit.

We have also seen pictures of troops carrying little cards which enable them to communicate.

Southern Iraq :: Kylie Morris :: 1232GMT

The commander of British forces in southern Iraq says the coalition is still on probation with the Iraqi people. Major General Robin Brims has praised his troops but says he understands why the people are sceptical.

The General though has accused those loyal to the Ba'athist leadership of coercing soldiers who prefer not to fight. He says, according to his intelligence, men are being told they must fight or face execution.

The British commander says his forces will help the Iraqi people to overcome the vipers who he says have a terrifying grip on them. He likened the people to an animal so abused that when they are rescued they bite the hand of those who first try to help them.

Alexandria, Egypt :: David Bamford :: 1223GMT

This is Alexandria's first opportunity to hold a full scale rally against the war in Iraq. The Egyptian government is nervous about allowing mass political gatherings like this, but knowing the intensity of people's feelings permission was given on the condition it was confined to within the city stadium.

Unusually, the secular governing party and the Muslim Brotherhood, technically a banned organisation, are working hand in hand to organise this rally.

All round me are thousands of young men, some wearing red or blue bandanas with anti war slogans in Arabic, and large groups of women with headscarves. Some have dressed up as suicide bombers carrying fake sticks of dynamite aloft.

Large banners festoon the stadium carrying messages including, "Bush go away from our land". Others are carrying round a coffin with the letters "UN" inscribed on its side.

Nasiriya :: Andrew North :: 1209GMT

The US marines have started handing out food and water in the town here. They are also giving medical treatment to some civilians.

A lot of the food comes from an Iraqi military compound captured a few days ago, which was well stocked.

It is clear there is a water shortage and there has been no electricity since the war started.

There is a mixture of suspicion and scepticism amongst the Iraqi people I have met today, but a lot of people did want the food from the US marines. It showed they were at least willing to talk to the Americans.

Some here are critical but some have told me they would like Saddam Hussein to go and were praising Bush and Blair for their actions.

Nasiriya :: Adam Mynott :: 1147GMT

US forces are engaged in a protracted operation to quell lingering Iraqi resistance in the town.

US marines say they were on patrol in Nasiriya where it has been generally quiet for the past thirty-six hours when they spotted two T-55 tanks near a bridge over the Euphrates in the centre of town. They say two armour piercing missiles were fired which destroyed both tanks.

Southern Iraq :: Caroline Wyatt :: 1142GMT

There is more nervousness following the killing of seven Iraqi women and children by US forces at a checkpoint.

Even the British roadblocks outside Basra are more tense. The women we've seen here this morning looked scared. Often they can't communicate, a translator isn't always available, so it is difficult.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 1123GMT

We see a real self confidence here amongst the Iraqi ministers. They feel they have given a good account of themselves and that it has not been a military walkover by the coalition forces.

Southern Iraq :: Hilary Andersson :: 1114GMT

One British officer here has described the operation by his forces as "nibbling at the edges" of Iraq's cities and towns in the south of the country.

Amman, Jordan :: Caroline Hawley :: 1102GMT

Four Iraqi nationals have been arrested in Jordan for trying to blow up a building in the capital.

The Jordanian authorities are still giving few details of the attack but there was a major incident at a hotel in Amman last week.

It's understood the group planted a crude device which failed to detonate in a hotel where many westerners, particularly journalists are staying.

Nasiriya, Iraq :: Adam Mynott :: 1054GMT

US marines in Nasiriya say they have destroyed two Iraq T-55 tanks.

Captain Jay de la Rosa of the 15th Marine expeditionary unit, said the two tanks were engaged by a patrol in the centre of the city, near to one of the bridges which crosses the River Euphrates.

The two Iraqi tanks were seen manoeuvring into position and the US forces say they suspected they were about to come under fire, so they opened fire destroying both tanks.

US forces say no US marines were injured in the attack. As far as they were aware there were no civilians in the vicinity when the attack took place. There is no word on Iraqi casualties.

As the patrol of fifteen US vehicles was on its way back towards its base in the south of the city, the convoy came under attack from two what appeared to be civilian vehicles.

Machine gun fire was directed from a white pick up truck and what US marines say looked like a taxi. Fire was returned on both vehicles.

Gaza :: Barbara Plett :: 1032GMT

In terms of Saddam Hussein I would say there is much less talk of him even among the people here.

At the rallies there is some support for him in the sense that he is standing up to America and to Israel but the stronger sense of identification this time is very much with the Iraqi people - the suffering of the people and the resistance of the people.

Doha, Qatar :: Jonathan Marcus :: 1011GMT

A few days ago, when a small column of fourteen Iraqi tanks counterattacked south from the city of Basra, they were destroyed in a matter of minutes.

But the employment of irregular Iraqi forces loyal to Saddam Hussein's regime has caused many more problems for the British and Americans. These, like the armed fighters often in civilian dress and using civilian vehicles, are operating from deep inside urban areas.

These irregular fighters are a central part of the Iraqi strategy. Iraq's goal is to delay the US advance and to inflict as many casualties as possible on the British and the Americans.

If the choice of these tactics introduces a greater element of chaos on the battlefield, so much the better.

The Iraqis know that incidents of US troops opening fire on civilians at checkpoints will gain huge media attention. The shooting in Najaf, where several women and children were killed, is already at the centre of propaganda battle.

The Pentagon has never seriously doubted that it would win this war, but central to the US strategy is the manner of victory - swift, decisive and relatively bloodless. That may not be how things turn out.

Southern Iraq :: Hilary Andersson :: 1007GMT

The picture hasn't changed that much, there are a lot of British troops on the south, east and west of Basra. The north still remains open to the Iraqis.

The troops are now in semi urban areas on the fringes of the city itself.

We had reports from people leaving, the focus is on civilians looking for water. Civilians living day by day with sounds of aerial bombardment and also these battles on the edges of the city.

Doha, Qatar :: Jonathan Marcus :: 0948GMT

Far from being welcomed with open arms by Iraqi civilians, US and British troops have been met by a traumatised population, uneasy and unwilling to display their true feelings until the threat from paramilitary groups loyal to Saddam Hussein's regime is finally removed.

In choosing to fight from urban areas and in civilian dress, these Iraqi irregulars have inevitably made this conflict uglier than it might have been.

Alexandria, Egypt :: David Bamford :: 0938GMT

Thousands of Egyptians are taking part in a mass rally in the northern city of Alexandria in support of the people of Iraq and against the American led invasion. The rally, taking place in the city's main stadium, follows similar big demonstrations in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Nasiriya :: Andrew North :: 0831GMT

I'm speaking now from just inside Nasiriya. The US marines have come into the town and are handing out aid to the local residents. A lot of Iraqis have turned up and there is some pushing and shoving in the crowd to get supplies. They want food, water and medicines.

Having talked to some of the people here there is clearly hardship being felt in this town, there is no water here, it has been cut off and life is difficult here now.

It is clear there is quiet a lot of misunderstanding about what the Marines intent is here. One man who spoke English told me to tell the former British government minister Robin Cook he is a good man because he did not support this war.

There is misunderstanding about the American aim, the people here don't see it as some kind of liberation war. I imagine too that they are hedging their bets, there are Iraqi resistance fighters around so they are not going to be heard wishing Saddam was gone.

Central Iraq :: David Willis :: 0823GMT

Consolidation is the word of the day - this mad dash towards Baghdad seems to be forgotten about now it is all about moving slowly and cautiously towards the capital.

What we know is that we will be moving north, we will possibly be crossing a river and we will be advancing on Baghdad - whereupon it is expected we will confront members of the elite Republican Guard for the first time at far as these men are concerned.

This will be the main phase - the final phase - of the operation, a very important one and everyone here is just waiting for it to begin.

Kuwait :: Ryan Dilley :: 0821GMT

On day 13 of the war, Kuwaitis are still being awoken by sirens warning of incoming Iraqi missiles.

Having just visited the US patriot missile defence station guarding Kuwait City, I'm not sure whether I am more or less concerned by the air raids than before.

The troops at Camp Cobra seem very confident in their equipment, but like many soldiers serving the Gulf - those trusted with pushing the buttons to bring down Iraqi rockets seem startlingly young.

Hearteningly, reports suggest that Patriots did bring down this morning's incoming Iraqi missile even before it reach Kuwaiti airspace.

Southern Iraq :: Kylie Morris :: 0818GMT

The British say it's an important development, the firing of seersucker missiles not into Kuwait as had been the case over the past two weeks, but into the south of Iraq itself.

While there were no casualties and no damage done by the missiles, a British military spokesman says they're now looking to establish where the attacks are coming from.

They hope to use a combination, they say, of land patrols and observation by drones to identify the source. British soldiers have taken sixteen people into custody near the southern town of Safwan meanwhile after a raid on five houses which they considered to be part of the Ba'athist infrastructure in the district.

Apart from their focus on those loyal to the Baghdad government, and occasional fighting on the outskirts of Basra, the British are now so confident of their hold on the south that they've announced a change in dress code.

Soldiers working at vehicle checkpoints at patrolling by foot in the streets are changing out of the helmets and into berets, an indication they say of improved security in the area.

Doha, Qatar :: Peter Hunt :: 0807GMT

There are two different versions of what happened when a vehicle crammed with people didn't stop at an American checkpoint close to Najaf.

According to Central Command, soldiers first fired warning shots, then aimed at the engine, and finally targeted the vehicle itself, killing seven women and children.

The Washington Post quotes a senior officer as telling a subordinate 'you killed a family because you didn't fire a warning shot soon enough'. When challenged about this discrepancy, an American spokesman here put it down to what he called 'the fog of war'.

He described it as a tragic incident which he wished hadn't happened. The jittery nature of troops on the ground, heightened by the deaths of four soldiers on Saturday in a suicide car bomb attack, has been reinforced by a report of US marines killing an Iraqi who drove at speed at their checkpoint outside the southern town of Shatra.

Taken together, these incidents might hamper efforts by the US-led troops to build a relationship of trust with Iraqi civilians they encounter because they could create an impression of an American force which shoots first and asks questions later.

Baghdad :: Rageh Omaar :: 0711GMT

I have seen bombing intermittently overnight. It did not feel like an intensive night of bombardment.

The people here have had their lives turned upside down. The daily rhythm of life has been suspended here. They are trapped between the continuing air war and what the coalition forces are promising as a siege of Baghdad to come.

I think the barracks of the Republican Guards are empty and they have been deployed elsewhere. I think they have been moved, they have had ages to plan this war.

Doha, Qatar :: Peter Hunt :: 0706GMT

American military officials have begun an investigation into how US troops shot dead seven women and children at a checkpoint in central Iraq. Two other Iraqis were wounded when the vehicle they were all travelling in reportedly failed to stop at the road block, near the city of Najaf, south of Baghdad.

There are two different versions of what happened when a vehicle crammed with people didn't stop at an American checkpoint close to Najaf. According to Central Command, soldiers first fired warning shots, then aimed at the engine, and finally targeted the vehicle itself, killing seven women and children.

The Washington Post quotes a senior officer as telling a subordinate 'you killed a family because you didn't fire a warning shot soon enough'. When challenged about this discrepancy, an American spokesman here put it down to what he called 'the fog of war'. He described it as a tragic incident which he wished hadn't happened.

Cizre, Turkey :: Nick Thorpe :: 0700GMT

The US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, arrives in Turkey today on the first leg of a three-day European tour. His visit is being seen here as an important opportunity to patch up an alliance with the USA which has been badly damaged by Turkey's refusal to play an active role in the war.

Turkish officials have always argued that Turkey, bordering on Iraq, Iran and Syria, is too important an ally to be bullied by the United States. But the months of eventually unsuccessful negotiations over the use of Turkish soil for US troops and aircraft left both sides bruised and offended. There are a lot of fences to be mended.

Southern Iraq :: Tim Franks :: 0658GMT

The two Iraqi Seersucker missiles fired this morning at British position here were from short range. One landed, according to a British military spokesman, close to a Royal Marine encampment. The other, we're told, came down next to the large prisoner of war camp by the port of Umm Qasr.

Southern Iraq :: Tim Franks :: 0646GMT

The British army has reported that its positions in southern Iraq have come under missile fire. They say that it's the first time that missiles have been aimed at targets inside Iraq as opposed to Kuwait.

Overall, though, the military say that they are gaining increasing security across the region.

Central Iraq :: David Willis :: 0613GMT

We're about 90 miles from Baghdad now, having moved about 20 miles yesterday, the troops I am with are consolidating their position.

They are now getting ready for the next phase, a key phase. We expect to be on the move again within 48 hours.

It's not good for morale to be sitting around for days on end and there is a feeling here that the momentum should not be lost. I would guess we'll be within artillery reach of Baghdad by the weekend.

The supply lines have caught up with us, food, water and ammunition have all been delivered.

Doha, Qatar :: Paul Adams :: 0609GMT

We are getting reports of a shooting in Shatra.

We're told that forces were suspicion of a vehicle in the town of Shatra and an Iraqi man has been shot dead.

Central Iraq :: David Willis :: 0607GMT

A vast convoy of American marines has now consolidated its position, having moved twenty miles closer to Baghdad.

The 6,000 plus men are now preparing for the final push on the Iraqi capital but, their plans are more cautious than they were before

Baghdad :: Andrew Gilligan :: 0602GMT

At least two targets directly associated with the ruling family were struck last night. A compound on the banks of the Tigris used by Saddam Hussein and his younger son, Qusay, and the Iraqi National Olympic Committee, base of Saddam Hussein's other son, Uday.

Flames, tiles and roofing materials could be seen shooting into the air as the bombs hit. The building targeted last night is said to include a private prison.

Southern Iraq :: Tim Franks :: 0536GMT

At least two targets directly associated with the ruling family were hit last night.

Southern Iraq :: Tim Franks :: 0536GMT

We have been told that a British soldier died yesterday in the course of his military duties. The authorities have not given any other details.

The British say they have secured the town of Al Zubayr.

Tehran, Iran :: Miranda Eels :: 0528GMT

The pick-up truck that exploded outside the British embassy last night was apparently loaded with extra fuel. The driver, who was killed instantly, has been identified as a government employee.

An investigation has been launched to find the cause of the incident. Police are not saying yet whether it was an accident or an attack. None of the embassy staff was injured.

Baghdad :: Andrew Gilligan :: 0516GMT

There has been fairly intense bombing again last night, probably the third most intense night we've had here. Again it was targeting the Republican Guard positions in the south.

The level of support for the regime amongst the population seems to be stronger than we thought. We see some of the shops re-opening and the thing people are buying are large TV aerials to allow them to receive Iraqi TV.

You must remember there is no entertainment on state TV here, it is government run and promotes the regime. It seems people are going out of their way to buy something that allows them to keep in touch with the regime and its message.

Doha, Qatar :: Peter Hunt :: 0456GMT

The American military has begun an investigation into how US troops killed seven women and children and injured two others when they opened fire on a vehicle at a military checkpoint near Najaf. According to Central Command in Qatar, the soldiers opened fire after the driver ignored warning shots.

This is a tragic case of Iraqi civilians shot dead by American soldiers. If it's established those in the vehicle posed no threat, then their deaths hamper attempts by the US-led troops to present themselves as a force of liberation.

According to Central Command, soldiers from the Third Infantry Division fired warning shots after a vehicle approaching their checkpoint failed to stop. It kept moving. They fired into the engine. Then, as a last resort, said a spokesman, into the vehicle.

Washington :: Steve Kingstone :: 0320GMT

Washington's view of this incident was put by General Peter Pace, the number two military commander at the Pentagon. He said the US soldiers had done absolutely the right thing by trying repeatedly to stop the vehicle and then only firing at it as a last resort.

Referring to Saturday's suicide bombing, in which four American soldiers were killed at a checkpoint, General Pace asserted that US troops had the right to defend themselves.

But at first sight the deaths of women and children at the hands of American soldiers sits uneasily with the president's promise, repeated publicly on Monday, that the war would bring a better life for Iraqi civilians.

Jon Leyne :: Washington :: 0305GMT

Colin Powell is already starting the process of mending fences, attempting to repair relations damaged by the war in Iraq.

One State Department official described it as a kiss and make up trip. Brussels is a suitably neutral location to meet representatives from the European countries that remain bitterly opposed to the war, particularly France and Germany.

It does not appear as if Mr Powell is looking for any more specific help from the European Union and Nato, although there is a lot to be discussed about what happens in Iraq after the war.

Doha, Qatar :: Pete Hunt :: 0002GMT

A Central Command spokesman said soldiers from the American Third Infantry Division had signalled for the vehicle to stop.

It didn't. They fired warning shots. They then fired into the engine and as the vehicle, possibly a van, continued to move towards them, they opened fire into the passenger compartment.

There were 13 women and children inside. Seven of them were dead.

If it's established that the occupants had no sinister intent, then this shooting could prove damaging to the American-led forces in their efforts to persuade the Iraqi population they have invaded their country to liberate them.

The movements of those reporting from Baghdad are restricted and their reports are monitored by the Iraqi authorities. Reporters with the US and British military are restricted in what they can say about precise locations or military plans. Click here for more details.



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