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  UK aid ship docks at Iraqi port
Updated 28 March 2003, 14.57
The Sir Galahad arrived with 650 tonnes of aid
The first supply ship carrying aid to Iraq has arrived at the southern port of Umm Qasr.

British ship Sir Galahad is carrying 650 tonnes of food, medicine and fresh water for the Iraqi people.

It was escorted into Umm Qasr by patrol ships, armed helicopters and inflatable boats with machine guns.

The ship should have arrived two days ago, but was delayed by poor weather and mines found in the water approaching the port.

Umm Qasr and Iraq
The Sir Galahad is carrying 650 tonnes of aid

The mines were detonated by special teams - some working with dolphins who carry small cameras on their fins.

Aid agencies are pleased the ship has arrived safely, but are worried how the aid will be handed out, as the people most in need live in areas still controlled by Iraqi forces.

The most immediate problem is in Basra, which has been without proper water supplies since last Friday.

Other main points:

  • Another night of bombing in Iraq's capital Baghdad has destroyed important communications and command centres

  • Thousands more US troops are moving in to join the battle for the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriya, backed by heavy artillery

  • The US plans to double the number of troops in Iraq to about 200,000 in the next month, US officials said

  • The United Nations has agreed to bring back its oil-for-food programme in Iraq


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