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EDITIONS
Breakfast Sunday, 23 March, 2003, 06:30 GMT
Coalition forces push towards Baghdad
Fire fight in Umm Qasr
US Marines engage in a fire fight in Umm Qasr
Baghdad saw a night of intermittent air strikes as British and American forces continued to edge towards the Iraqi capital.

They claim to be "half way there", but are involved in heavy clashes with Iraqi troops in Najaf - just one hundred miles from the capital.

  • Breakfast came live from both the Gulf and the UK as the battle for Umm Qasr took place - click on the links below to see these reports

    US marines trying to secure the strategic port of Umm Qasr in the south of the country encountered pockets of resistance from Iraqi forces.

    The news was also breaking while Breakfast was on air that an RAF aircraft had gone missing and had apparently been accidentally shot down by a US Patriot missile battery.

    Intermittent bombing has taken place in Baghdad overnight. Several large explosions were heard over the capital just before dawn local time.

    There are reports of clashes between Iraqi forces and American troops near the town of Najaf, about a hundred miles south of Baghdad.

    Iraqi TV says a senior Ba'ath party official has been killed during the fighting. The clashes in Najaf are the closest reported to Baghdad so far.

    Meanwhile at eleven thirty Saturday night American B52 bombers left RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire - thought to be heading for Iraq. Just before dawn local time large explosions were heard near Baghdad city centre.

    American and British troops say they have secured Basra, Iraq's second city, but not without resistance. Some Iraqi soldiers who did not surrender, set fire to oil wells.

    An American serviceman has been detained after 13 soldiers were injured in a grenade attack on a US military camp in Kuwait. One later died

    The attack happened at Camp Pennsylvania, near the Iraqi border. It's the base of the 101st Airborne Division.

  • Adam Mynott was with US Marines who were engaged in a fire fight in Umm Qasr, Southern Iraq. Click on the link below to see his report.


    The BBC's Paul Adams
    And Paul Adams reported from the headquarters of the military operation in Doha Qatar, where news was coming in about a missing RAF aircraft.

    He spoke to the British military spokesman Group Captain Al Lockwood who confirmed that an aircraft had gone missing and that it may have been accidentally hit by a US Patriot missile in a 'friendly' fire attack.


    The BBC's Paul Wood reported live from Baghdad where his movements are restricted - he confirmed that a senior member of Saddam's Ba'ath party had been killed in an attack on the city of Najaf.


    Michael Binyon
    "Resistance comes through"
    Michael Binyon from the Times newspaper came into the studio. He said that he thought the Iraqi command and control structure looked like it wasn't as badly damaged as initially thought.

    Speaking about the loss of an RAF aircraft, he said it was the worst incidence of friendly fire but was inevitable, although he thought it would not affect the overall strategy.


    The BBC's Caroline Wyatt
    "The campaign is going well"
    We also heard from our correspondent Caroline Wyatt who is with the British Forces in Kuwait. She said the coalition forces were pleased with the way the war was going despite the loss of another aircraft; and that they had always expected to meet some resistance from Iraqi forces.


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