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Last Updated:  Sunday, 13 April, 2003, 23:52 GMT 00:52 UK
Iraq latest: At-a-glance
BBC News Online charts the latest developments in the Iraq conflict.

[All times GMT and approximate]

Sunday, 13 April

2330: Australian Prime Minister John Howard defends the war on Iraq as the only way to oust Saddam Hussein, in a radio interview reported by AP, a day after peace protestors marched through Australian cities.

2225: US marines exchanged fire with snipers in a building in Baghdad early on Monday close to the Palestine Hotel, home to foreign media covering the war on Iraq, reports said.

2039: Yemen grants asylum to Iraq's ambassador to Egypt, Mohsen Khalil. Mr Khalil, who is a former ambassador to Yemen itself, is due to arrive within 24 hours.

1845: Ayatollah Sistani's office in Iran says the lives of senior clerics in Najaf are under serious threat and it is the responsibility of the US-led coalition to ensure their security

1810: More than 30 boats, including the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior, stage a protest against the war in Iraq by sailing to and fro for two hours in the Spanish port city of Barcelona, sounding their sirens.

1803: Several hospitals in Baghdad are without water and electricity and short of medical equipment due to looting, the International Committee of the Red Cross reports.

1745: Armed men purporting to represent tribal groups in Tikrit say Iraqi troops have left and they are now negotiating a truce with the US military, al-Jazeera TV reports from the city.

1733: "We believe there are chemical weapons in Syria," President Bush says. He calls on Damascus to "co-operate".

1712: US President George W Bush warns Syria against harbouring Iraqi fugitives. He also hails the rescue of the seven POWs.

1705: US Central Command names seven POWs freed in Iraq on Sunday. They include two Apache helicopter pilots and five maintenance soldiers.

1635: Fire breaks out in Baghdad's National Library, home to Iraq's national archives, an AFP correspondent reports.

1633: Kuwaiti fire-fighters extinguish the last oil-well fire in Iraq's al-Rumeila field, just across the northern border, a Kuwait oil industry spokesman tells AP.

1610: A senior Kurdish official, Hoshyar Zebari, reports the arrest of Saddam Hussein's half-brother in comments quoted by the AP news agency. Watban Ibrahim al-Tikriti was captured in a joint US and Kurdish operation north-west of Mosul, he said. No official US confirmation yet reported.

1604: US troops plan to mount joint patrols of Baghdad with Iraqi security forces, a marine spokesman tells AFP. "The intended plan is to have joint patrols with one Iraqi car along with one of our Humvees."

1557: Iran's supreme spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, advises Iraqis to organise post-war reconstruction through mosques.

1545: Sounds of fierce fighting are heard from the direction of Tikrit, witnesses tell AFP.

1524: Heavy fighting erupts on the southern outskirts of Tikrit between US marines backed by tanks and Cobra helicopter gunships and planes, and Iraqi forces backed by tanks, a Canadian reporter with US troops reports.

1510: The head of an Iran-based Shia Muslim opposition group, Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim, calls on supporters to set up committees in Iraq to assume the responsibilities of local authorities and provide essential services.

1450: Thousands of Iraqis are returning to Baghdad from the countryside where they had sought shelter from US-led air attacks, Reuters reports. A tailback of traffic stretching several kilometres is reported to the east of the city.

1447: US forces have yet to find conclusive proof that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction but several thousand sites remain to be searched, General Franks says.

1431: More than 90 Iraqi refugees are stranded at the Jordanian border in dire conditions, the UN agency for refugees (UNHCR) reports. The UNHCR is asking Jordan to allow them to cross.

1412: Four US paratroopers have been shot and wounded while clearing an Iraqi arms dump in Mahmudiya, about 40 km (25 miles) south of central Baghdad, a US officer tell Reuters news agency.

1400: According to an unconfirmed report by AFP news agency, US marines say they have discovered 278 artillery shells carrying a substance which tested positive as a chemical agent.

1355: Kurdish refugees returning to Kirkuk are telling Arab families living in their former homes for more than a decade that they must leave or be kicked out, a BBC correspondent reports.

1345: US commander General Franks says the war in Iraq is not over yet despite all the advances made, and it will continue until all pockets of resistance are overcome.

1323: French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks on Iraq's future.

1316: Unconfirmed Kurdish reports say coalition forces arrested a half-brother and advisor to Saddam Hussein, Watban Ibrahim al-Tikriti, as he was attempting to cross the border into Syria. He is on the coalition's wanted list.

1315: Pope John Paul II urges solidarity with those suffering in conflicts in Iraq, the Middle East and elsewhere in the world at a mass for Palm Sunday.

1311: About 100 Iraqi engineers and other civil servants respond to a US military appeal in Baghdad for volunteers to restore both law and order and public services, a BBC correspondent reports. Around 20 former army and police officers have also registered to go back to their jobs.

1309: US Defence Secretary Rumsfeld says he has no doubt that some Iraqis from the ousted regime have fled to Syria.

1305: Israel lowers its state of alert over the war in Iraq, telling citizens they no longer need carry gas masks and keep a sealed room in their homes. But anti-missile batteries will remain in place for the time being, the defence ministry says.

1300: US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dismisses claims by Amir al-Saadi, the arrested scientific adviser to Saddam Hussein, that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction.

1245: US tanks and armoured personnel carriers roll into Kirkuk to boost security there after friction with Turkey over the presence of Kurdish fighters in the northern oil city, Reuters news agency reports.

1220: US Brigadier-General Vincent Brooks says seven Americans previously held by Iraqi forces have been rescued. Earlier, officials put the number at six.

1137: US General Tommy Franks says US forces are moving on Tikrit and "there was not any resistance".

1059: Six American prisoners-of-war have been rescued by marines north of Baghdad, reports say. The US war commander, General Tommy Franks, says the six "appear to be healthy".

1010: British troops begin to re-employ police who worked for the old regime for patrols in Basra.

0953: Some semblance of normality has returned to Mosul, reports the BBC's John Simpson in the northern city. US troops are patrolling the streets, a few shops have reopened and some looters have even returned stolen goods, he says.

0938: US marines are advancing rapidly towards Tikrit, the home town of Saddam Hussein and the last remaining Iraqi city outside coalition control, US military spokesman Captain Stewart Upton said. Western correspondents earlier reported no sign of Iraqi army activity on the road to Tikrit.

0830: Gunmen are surrounding the home of Iraq's leading Shia cleric in Najaf and have given him 48 hours to leave the country or face attack, reports say.

0719: Iraqi opposition leader Ahmed Chalabi says members of Free Iraqi Forces will go to Baghdad to try to restore order.

0708: Abducted Malaysian journalists are reported to have been released unharmed.

0618: Three Malaysian journalists have been kidnapped by gunmen in Baghdad in an attack which left two aid workers injured, according to Malaysian officials.

0602: UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw will travel to Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to discuss reconstruction of Iraq, officials say. His foreign office colleague Mike O'Brien is scheduled to visit Iran and Syria.

0550: US military officials say a total of 310 "suicide vests" packed with explosives have been found in Baghdad. Earlier reports revealed the discovery in a school of 40 vests designed to be worn over clothing.

0505: US forces use air patrols over Baghdad for the first time to try to improve security.

0300: China calls on the US to restore law and order in Baghdad as a matter of urgency, after its embassy in the city is looted.

0240: Russian foreign ministry spokesman says US and British forces bear full responsibility for distributing humanitarian aid and protecting historic monuments in Iraq.

0210: Developing countries and lobby groups at the IMF/World Bank meeting in Washington say the war in Iraq has distracted international attention from the fight on world poverty.

0145: The United States sends home the B-2 Stealth bombers it deployed to the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia for the Iraq war - a sign that air war may be winding down, says BBC Pentagon correspondent Nick Childs.

0135: Man who shot dead a US marine outside a Baghdad hospital on Saturday was a Syrian national, US military says.

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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