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Breakfast Monday, 31 March, 2003, 06:58 GMT 07:58 UK
The Battle for Basra
Troops on buildings
British troops are still fighting to secure Basra

British forces have taken an Iraqi stronghold to the south of Basra - Iraq's second city.

The Royal Marines are now within a mile of Basra.

Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers have been taken prisoner - including some officers.

Fighting for control of Basra continues though - it's now on a building-by-building basis.

On Breakfast, BBC Correspondent Caroline Wyatt who is with British troops in southern Iraq, described how last night was probably the most ferocious night of fighting so far for the British.

Close up of Caroline Wyatt
Caroline Wyatt in Southern Iraq

She also reported on the death of a Royal Marine, who was killed when he came under fire while on a river patrol in Southern Iraq.

British forces said that the resistance they are encountering is some of the fiercest they've seen so far as they encounter a mix of Iraqi soldiers from the regular army and the Republican Guard.


British troops are now said to be almost encircling the city of Basra.

Overnight in Baghdad there was heavy bombing again, where the presidential palace and the information ministry were among targets.

And there's been intense fighting overnight and this morning in Najaf - 100 miles south of Baghdad.

Around 100 Iraqi soldiers are reported to have been killed in air attacks after trying to break out of the city.

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