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  Troops close in on major Iraqi city
Updated 21 March 2003, 17.30
Iraqi prisoners captured by the 40 Commando of the Royal Marines
US and UK forces have advanced deep into Iraqi territory on the second day of the military campaign to topple President Saddam Hussein.

The UK's military chief says the troops are on the very edge of the city of Basra in southern Iraq.

Basra is Iraq's second most important city after the capital Baghdad.

It's a very important target for the coalition troops - it's on a route which is 560km from Baghdad and also close to borders with Iran and Kuwait.

Another important development is that Iraq's only deep-water port at Umm Qasr in the south-east has been captured by US and UK troops.

The port is key for bringing in aid for the Iraqi civilian population.

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