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Thursday, 20 June, 2002, 19:05 GMT 20:05 UK
'Four killed' in Iraq air strikes
US F-15 fighter plane patrolling no-fly zone over Iraq
US and British forces routinely patrol the no-fly zones
Iraq says four people have been killed and 10 wounded in an air strike launched by US and British warplanes.

A US statement said the planes had launched an attack against an Iraqi military command and control centre in a no-fly zone south-east of Baghdad.

Map of no-fly zones
The centre was helping to direct anti-aircraft artillery fire at coalition planes patrolling the no-fly zone, US Central Command said.

Lieutenant Colonel Martin Compton said the target of the raids was about 265 kilometres (165 miles) south-east of the capital, at Al-Amarah. A radar site at the same location was targeted by US planes last Friday.

According to an Iraqi spokesmen, the warplanes attacked "service and civilian installations" in Meisan province, killing four people.

Iraqi fire had forced the coalition planes to return to their bases in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, he added.

Not recognised

US and British aircraft also carried out air strikes over northern no-fly zones on Wednesday.

One man was wounded in the attack, Baghdad said.

The no-fly zones - set up by the US and UK after the 1991 Gulf War - are not recognised by Baghdad and are not covered by any UN resolution.

Washington and London say they are being enforced to protect the Kurdish population in the north and Shiites in the south from military threats from Baghdad.

American and British military officials have expressed concern that Iraqi attacks in the no-fly zones have become more aggressive in recent months.

Baghdad says that US and British air strikes have killed 1,477 people and injured 1,358 since the no-fly zones were set up. However, the figures cannot be confirmed.


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