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  Battles rage in Iraq
Updated 28 March 2003, 18.39
Residents are leaving Basra as the fighting continues
Battles are taking place throughout Iraq as the coalition forces head towards Baghdad.

US troops travelling towards the capital are being attacked by groups of Iraqi soldiers.

Some members of the Iraqi military are disguised as ordinary members of the public, but then open fire on the troops as they get nearer, it's been reported.

Food shortage

There has also been fighting in Iraq's second-largest city, Basra.

Aid ship the Sir Galahad has arrived in Iraq
UK military officials say some of Saddam Hussein's closest fighters have opened fire on civilians who are trying to flee Basra, which has a shortage of water, food and medicine since the war broke out.

British troops fired on Saddam's men to protect the civilians, the UK military said.

Meanwhile, the first ship carrying aid has docked in the port of Umm Qasr. The British ship Sir Galahad was delayed because mines were found in the sea.

Other main points:

  • Bombs continued to be dropped on Baghdad during the day, after another night of raids on the capital

  • 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


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More InfoBORDER=0
WorldHow is the war being reported?
WorldIraq war: hour by hour updates
WorldWords of war explained
PicturesPictures of the bombing
Find OutIraq crisis special section

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Important targets hit in Baghdad bombings
Bush: Coalition is 'breaking Saddam's grip'
Fighting in key town Samawah
US raid 'may have caused market deaths'
Warplanes attack Iraqi tanks

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