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EDITIONS
Breakfast Friday, 28 March, 2003, 06:04 GMT
US to send more troops to Iraq
British tanks wait on the frontline in Basra
British tanks wait on the frontline in Basra
The United States has announced that it is to more than double the number of troops in Iraq.

Another 120'000 troops are to be deployed to the region but the Pentagon is denying the move is a change in tactics.

Overnight Baghdad came under heavy attack and several huge explosions were heard in the centre of the city.

  • Breakfast had reports from the Gulf throughout the morning, click on the links below to see them

    Key Maps
    Key maps of the Gulf region
    Detailed maps of Iraq and the surrounding area

    An American military spokesman said the raids on Baghdad destroyed a communications centre and command and control facilities.

    The capital could be encircled by coalition forces in five to ten days.

    On the ground, British forces continue to engage Iraqi resistance around Basra, and American armoured columns have been consolidating their positions near Karbala, Najaf, Nasiriyah, and on the road to Al Kut.

    Tony Blair met the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan last night. They discussed humanitarian aid for Iraq.

    The UN is expected to vote today on a deal to speed up the delivery of food and medicine.

    Fact Files
    Background information on military hardware

    Meanwhile the Iraqis have denied executing two British servicemen. The two dead men were members of a specialist bomb disposal unit of the Royal Engineers, based in Essex.

  • Breakfast's Jane O'Brien has been behind the scenes with a squadron of RAF Harriers based in Kuwait.

    You can see that report by clicking on the link below. For more information on the Harrier aircraft, go to our fact files section,


  • Rageh Omaar reported live from Baghdad

    Rageh's movements are restricted and his reports are monitored by the Iraqi officials.

    He said that there had been massive explosions throughout the night with heavy munitions.

    Rageh Omaar in Baghdad
    "Civilians are out on the streets"
    A transmitter seems to have been a target for coalition bombs which was the first direct hit on a civilian infrastructure:

    Iraqi television is still on the air: "despite the continuing attacks on transmitters relay stations tv and radio headquarters they are finding alternative routes and means to keep Iraqi state television on air."

    Rageh also said that civilians are out on the streets and shops are open despite the onslaught.


  • We also heard from two Iraqi men living in Britain who both have families back in Iraq

    "Communications are difficult"

    Mohammed Al-Hilli works as a pharmacist - he said he'd spoken to his family about 48 hours ago but communications are very difficult especially after the market bombing.

    He said it was difficult for them to express themselves because the phones are tapped but they sounded fearful of what was happening next but that they had hope for the future.

    Haider Al-Shamiry who is a student said the Iraqis who rose up against Saddam in 1991 were promised help and it wasn't provided so they won't have much confidence in the west.


  • Group Captain Al Lockwood is the British forces spokesman and he gave us an update on the military operation


  • The BBC's Matthew Price was on board HMS Ark Royal where the crew were preparing to repatriate the bodies of the servicemen killed when two helicopters collided.


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