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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 March 2008, 16:16 GMT
Key events: 11 March 2003
Key events in the run up to the Iraq war - Tuesday 11 March 2003

CLASH OVER IRAQ LOOMS AT UN

British ambassador to the UN, Jeremy Greenstock
Greenstock: "I'm pretty sure we're talking about action in March"

The deeply divided United Nations Security Council has started an open session on the Iraq crisis amid suggestions of imminent US-led military action.

It began with a verbal assault on the United States by the Iraqi ambassador to the UN, Mohamed al-Douri, who accused the Americans of "desperation" in their attempts to prove that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

British diplomats have been seeking possible amendments to a new US-backed Security Council resolution on Iraq, to avoid what BBC correspondents say looks like an inevitable defeat in the 15-member body.

MPs THREATEN REBELLION

A number of Labour MPs are threatening to challenge Tony Blair's leadership should he take the country to war without the backing of the United Nations.

The MPs say they will demand an emergency party conference to discuss his position.

IRAQI ASYLUM SEEKERS

Iraqi refugees at a camp in France
There are at least 400,000 recognised Iraqi refugees globally

The UN refugee agency has called on governments worldwide to halt the forced repatriation of Iraqis who have been rejected as asylum seekers ahead of possible war.

It is proposing that, for an initial period of three month, all such Iraqis be given protection.

A spokesman in Geneva said the UNHCR's call was "precautionary", as few Iraqis are being returned currently.

"We don't think there has been a problem of this kind so far and we certainly hope that governments will heed this in the future," Kris Janowski.

STOCK MARKET PLUNGES

London Stock Exchange

Traders will be looking for signs of a recovery, after the FTSE 100 index fell to its lowest level for seven and a half years.

London's blue-chip index ended Monday's session 56 points lower at 3,436, amid continuing concerns about a UN disagreement over Iraq and tensions with North Korea.

It was the fifth day in a row that the index has fallen.

CND PREPARES FOR WAR

Anti-war rally
CND says war will lead to widespread public protests

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament says it still hopes military action can be avoided, but it is now thinking about what to do in the event of war.

"Until now we have been putting all our energy into stopping the war," says CND chairperson Carol Naughton.

"But the reality is that it is looking more and more likely that it will happen."




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