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  UK troops working to free Basra
Updated 06 April 2003, 19.07
UK troops are on the streets in Basra
British forces have attacked the headquarters of Saddam Hussein's political party in the city of Basra.

British troops have also been into the city centre as part of an operation to free the second most important city in Iraq from Saddam Hussein's rule.

British forces spokesman Group Captain Al Lockwood said: "this is the liberation of Basra we've been planning for."

US troops inside the airport in Baghdad
US troops inside the airport in Baghdad
The first moves started at dawn on Sunday, and the troops say they met very little opposition when beginning to take control.

Captain Roger McMillan of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards said: "We have pushed on the door of Basra and it opened. We are going to be staying."

At Iraq's capital city Baghdad, US military bosses say they are close to controlling every road into the city.

Days after they first took control of the international airport in Baghdad, the first US military aircraft has landed there.

Iraqi television has reported that people will be banned from entering the city between 1800 and 0600 local time from Sunday. The US military said this would have "no impact" on their operations.

The Iraqi authorities say they have strengthened their defences in the capital, preparing for an expected US attack.

Other main points:

  • Reports say a fierce battle has been going on in the western outskirts of Baghdad, where the Iraqis are fiercely fighting back against the US troops
  • Kurdish and American forces in northern Iraq suffer a setback as a convoy is bombed by US aircraft in a "friendly fire" incident
  • US forces have begun to airlift Iraqi opposition fighters into southern Iraq, an American television network reports
  • A Russian diplomatic convoy evacuating staff from Baghdad is attacked, with several people reportedly injured
  • US deputy defence secretary Paul Wolfowitz says it will take more than six months for an Iraqi government to be created to run the country after the war is over


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