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  Key Iraqi cities are captured
Updated 22 March 2003, 18.44
A new wave of air attacks has started over Baghdad
US and UK forces have taken control of two key cities in Iraq.

They've captured Basra - the second largest city in Iraq - and another city in the south of the country.

British officials said soldiers around Basra gave themselves up by the thousand.

The coalition forces claim the main Iraqi forces have now pulled out of the city altogether.

Surrender

Basra is such a key city because it is on the route to Baghdad from Kuwait and the Gulf.

This comes as a fresh wave of air raids started in Baghdad as night fell in the capital.

There are reports of more explosions and power failure in some parts of the city.

Troops are heading towards Baghdad
Coalition forces earlier captured the southern Iraqi town of Nassiriya.

Soldiers have set up a bridge in the town to make it easier for ground troops to pass through as they head towards the capital, Baghdad.

Up to 8,000 Iraqi troops from the 51st Infantry Division are said to have surrendered to US and UK forces earlier on Saturday. Although Iraqi forces deny this development.

Other major updates:

  • Around 100,000 protesters gathered for an anti-war rally in London. Other demos were held around the UK.
  • The capital city was bombarded with hundreds of bombs and missiles overnight on Friday and on Saturday morning, as the US launched its massive air campaign
  • Seven UK crew members are reported missing after two Royal Navy Sea King helicopters collided over the Gulf on Saturday. Officials say the crash was not caused by enemy action
  • Iraqi officials say three members of the public were killed, and another 200 injured, in the overnight raids on Baghdad


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