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[casi] News, 26/03-02/04/03 (1)



News, 26/03-02/04/03 (1)

BBC CHRONOLOGY

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2890507.stm

*  Iraq latest: At-a-glance
BBC News Online, 27th March

0010: Reports of huge Iraqi Republican Guard armoured column heading south
from Baghdad are false, US military commanders say.

0053: At least 10 more explosions reported in Baghdad, along with the sound
of anti aircraft fire.

0058: US Pentagon spokesman says intelligence reports provide "no conclusive
evidence" that coalition forces were responsible for the bombing of a
Baghdad market place on Wednesday which left 14 dead.

0247: The UK ministry of defence confirms that two dead soldiers, whose
bodies were shown in footage broadcast by al-Jazeera TV, are "probably" two
Britons who went missing during a battle near al-Zubayr on Sunday.

0556: British Royal Navy says first ship bringing humanitarian aid to Iraq
has been delayed by 24 hours because of the discovery of mines. The Sir
Galahad was due to dock in the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr on Thursday.

0651: British forces take Iraqi state radio and television off the air in
the second city of Basra. The move effectively isolates Basra from any
communications with the capital Baghdad.

0700: US military investigating reports that 37 Marines were injured when
they were hit by fire from their own side near the city of Nasiriya. The
incident happened after 30 Marines were injured in a surprise Iraqi rocket
attack.

0845: American troops using tanks and attack helicopters engaged in heavy
fighting with Iraqi forces at the town of Samawah, about 150 miles south of
Baghdad and on a crucial supply route. Black smoke reported above the town.

0855: A missile fired at Kuwait from southern Iraq is brought down by a
Patriot anti-missile battery, according to Kuwaiti defence officials.

0900: Iraq's health minister says that 36 people were killed and more than
200 injured in the previous day's US and British air strikes on Baghdad. He
adds that about 350 people have been killed and 3,600 injured since the
start of US-led military strikes.

0950: British Challenger tanks destroyed a column of 14 Iraqi T-55 tanks and
four armoured personnel carriers south of Basra in southern Iraq on Thursday
morning, a UK military spokesman says.

1000: Coalition forces plan to step up their operations in Iraq in the next
three days as the weather improves, according to Central Command officials
in Qatar.

1115: A wounded US soldier tells a press conference in Germany that his unit
expected "little or no resistance". He said he had encountered Iraqi
soldiers wearing civilian clothes over their uniforms.

1130: Powerful explosions are heard in central Baghdad after a series of
loud blasts in the city overnight.

1145: UK Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon condemns TV footage of two dead
British soldiers as a "flagrant and sickening breach" of the Geneva
Conventions.

1200: British tanks destroyed 14 Iraqi T-55 tanks in the Basra area on
Thursday, a UK Ministry of Defence official says.

1334: Fierce fighting is raging between US Marines and Iraqi forces for
control of the strategic town of Nasiriya, in what appears to be a US
counter-offensive against Iraqi units, reports the BBC's Andrew North who is
near the city.

1430: Another round of heavy bombardment hits Baghdad as warplanes and
sustained anti-aircraft fire are heard.

1446: UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix says there is no evidence from
US-led forces that Iraq has used illicit weapons.

1549: US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says US troops are working at an
"impressive rate of advance" as he addresses the US Senate to request extra
funding for the war.

1607: US President Bush says that thanks to US-led forces in Iraq "the grip
of terror around the throat of the Iraqi people is being loosened" at a
joint press conference with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair in Camp David. Mr
Bush says war will go on for "however long it takes" to remove Iraqi leader
Saddam Hussein.

1610: Mr Bush and Mr Blair say they will seek UN resolutions to secure
humanitarian relief and an "appropriate post-war administration" for Iraq.

1615: Mr Blair and Mr Bush restate their commitment to implementing the
proposals for peace in the Middle East, but give no date for the publication
of their so-called "road map".

1620: Mr Blair accuses Iraq of executing two British prisoners of war.

1630: Another round of heavy bombardment hits the southern outskirts of
Baghdad and anti-aircraft fire is heard.

1648: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein vows to "inflict maximum material and
human damage among enemy ranks" at a meeting with Baath Party senior
members.

1718: Arab news channel al-Jazeera shows pictures of a US Army Apache attack
helicopter which it said had been shot down over Iraq.

1907: US ambassador walks out of UN debate after Iraqi ambassador accuses US
of trying to exterminate Iraqi people.

1915: The Iraqi defence minister said troops were prepared to defend the
capital as he acknowledges that coalition forces are closing in on Baghdad
and will surround the city.

2000: The UK ministry of defence names the two UK soldiers, which it
believes are those pictured dead on Arabic TV station al-Jazeera, as Sapper
Luke Allsopp, 24, from north London and Staff Sergeant Simon Cullingworth,
36, from Essex.

2020: More large explosions and anti-aircraft fire are heard in Baghdad.

2145: US Army 4th Infantry Division troops begin moving out of Texas bound
for Iraq.

2150: US Air Force B52 bombers take off from RAF Fairford air base in
western England.

2159: The US military plans to double its troop strength in Iraq to about
200,000 in the next month, US officials say.

2311: The United Nations reaches agreement to restart the oil-for-food
programme in Iraq, the German ambassador at the UN says.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2894097.stm

*  Iraq latest: At-a-glance
BBC News Online, 28th March

0000: UK Prime Minister Tony Blair begins holding talks with United Nations
Secretary General Kofi Annan, focussing on the role of the UN in a post-war
Iraq.

0059: US military spokesman at Coalition Central Command says air strikes
and cruise missiles have taken out a major communication centre and
command-and-control facilities in Baghdad. Large fire

0400: Further explosions reported in Baghdad, along with the sound of
anti-aircraft gunfire.

0500: BBC correspondent reports explosions in Baghdad, says Thursday night's
bombings among the most violent of the war so far.

0505: BBC correspondent Paul Adams at Coalition Central Command in Qatar
reports that the southern Iraqi airbase in Tallil is now operational and the
first US transport planes have now flown into it.

0545: The British ship Sir Galahad, carrying 600 tons of food and water for
the Iraqi people, is approaching the southern Iraqi port of Umm Qasr behind
teams of minesweepers and a mine-hunting vessel.

0607: Thousands more US troops are moving in to join the battle for the
southern Iraqi city of Nasiriya, backed by heavy artillery.

0617: US marines report they have captured an Iraqi general in Nasiriya on
Thursday, BBC correspondent Andrew North says.

0650: UK Prime Minister Tony Blair tells the BBC that the war against Saddam
Hussein will take time and have its "tough and difficult moments."

0800: UK military spokesmen say local Iraqi militia opened fire on 1,000 and
2,000 civilians trying to flee the southern city of Basra.

0945: Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf says US-led bombing
killed seven people and injured 92 in Baghdad on Thursday.

1010: British military try to get ambulances into Basra, but cannot breach
Iraqi defences.

1115: Iraqi television shows interviews with three Iraqi men arrested on
suspicion of spying for the United States.

1230: The British supply ship, the Sir Galahad, arrives at the southern
Iraqi port of Umm Qasr to deliver the first shipload of humanitarian
supplies.

1430: The main headquarters of the Ansar al-Islam militant group in the
mountains of north eastern Iraq is overrun by thousands of Peshmerga Kurdish
guerrillas, backed by US special forces and air support.

1445: Britain's Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mike Jackson, says
the Iraqi army in the south of the country is "pinned down".

1515: Windows of British embassy in Iranian capital Tehran smashed following
anti-war protest by thousands of people.

1540: Kurdish-controlled town of Chamchamal in northern Iraq shelled in an
apparent Iraqi army retaliation for an advance towards the northern city of
Kirkuk by US-backed Kurd fighters.

1645: One US Marine reported to have been killed in vehicle accident near
southern town of Nasiriya, four others said to be missing.

1745: United Nations decides to restart the "oil-for-food" programme that
was formerly feeding 60% of Iraqis but was suspended when war broke out last
week. It also appeals for $2.2bn in aid for Iraq.

1815: Dozens of civilians reportedly killed in an explosion at a Baghdad
market.

1830: US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says Syria is supplying military
equipment - including night-vision goggles - to Iraq in what he terms a
"hostile act".

1845: Two Iraqi 'sleeper cells' planning attacks on American interests
abroad have been captured and their plans foiled, US State Department
officials say.

2045: Coalition warplanes attack Baghdad, according to news agency reports.

2100: The Syrian Government dismisses allegations by US Defence Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld that it is supplying military equipment to Iraq and accuses
the US of trying to distract attention from civilian casualties.

2200: Large explosion near Iraqi information ministry in Baghdad, reports
say.

2245: Smoke rising over Kuwait City after missile blast near shopping
centre, reports say.

2315: Fatal "friendly fire" incident in southern Iraq claims the life of one
British soldier and injures a number, reports say.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2897699.stm

*  Iraq latest: At-a-glance
BBC News Online, 29th March
[Note that the document does indeed terminate at 19.15]

0045: The Australian Government announces A$83m (32m) worth of aid to UN
appeal for Iraq.

0135: Iraqi information ministry hit by Tomahawk cruise missiles, US
spokesman at Central Command says.

0140: US jets have destroyed a building in Basra housing a meeting of 200
pro-Saddam paramilitaries, coalition officials reveal.

0200: The US warns terror attacks are planned on US interests in Yemen and
advises American citizens to consider leaving the Gulf state, reports say.

0400: Coalition warplanes begin fresh wave of bombing in Baghdad, with loud
explosions heard on the outskirts, reports say.

0455: Reuters news agency reports unnamed US military officers suggesting
there will be a four-to-six day pause in the advance on Baghdad. Pentagon
and US Central Command in Qatar refuse to comment on the reports.

0530: US forces launch new artillery barrages on the southern town of
Nasiriya, as Iraqi resistance continues, in spite of heavy US attacks
including air strikes and the use of helicopter gunships.

0730: US military officials refuse to comment on reports that an operational
pause has been ordered to allow forward American units regroup and resupply.

0750: UK defence officials are investigating reports that four or five
British soldiers were kidnapped in Basra overnight.

0815: UK military officials say they have no evidence to back up reports
that British soldiers were seized in Basra.

0930: A suicide bomber has killed five Americans soldiers in an attack near
the city of Najaf in central Iraq, US military officials say.

1020: Iraq's Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf accuses US-led
forces of killing 140 civilians over the past 24 hours; denies allegations
that Iraqi soldiers are disguising themselves as civilians.

1200: Baghdad comes under more heavy bombardment from coalition forces.

1205: US marines say they have found large amounts of ammunition and
chemical warfare protection equipment during a search of an Iraqi military
complex near Nasiriya.

1210: The bodies of the first British servicemen to die during the war are
brought back to England.

1240: US Central Command denies that there is a pause in military operations
against Iraq.

1445: Four American soldiers now known to have died in apparent suicide
bombing near Najaf.

1555: Iraq says an army officer carried out the suicide bombing that killed
four US soldiers near Najaf.

1600: Iraqi Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan says suicide attacks against
coalition troops will become "routine military policy".

1857: British intelligence sources say Iraq has replaced the commander of
air defence forces after Iraqi surface-to-air missiles, aimed at Western
warplanes, had missed and fallen back on the Iraqi capital.

1912: Big explosions hit central Baghdad.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2899715.stm

*  Iraq latest: At-a-glance
BBC News Online, 30th March
[Note: the document really does terminate at 20.30]

0030: Former British cabinet minister Robin Cook launches an angry attack on
the war in Iraq and called on Prime Minister Tony Blair to bring UK combat
units home.

0055: New explosions heard around Mosul in northern Iraq, according to
al-Jazeera TV.

0244: Basra hit by "many explosions", according to al-Jazeera correspondent
in the city.

0342: UK pilots say they destroyed a depot supplying fuel to Iraqi
Republican Guard units outside Karbala.

0352: US Central Command in Qatar says two more marines have been killed in
accidents in south-central Iraq. One drowned after his humvee rolled into a
canal and the other was struck by a vehicle while he was in a firefight with
Iraqi soldiers, officials say.

0430: US newspaper editor says he believes two reporters have been detained
by the Iraqi Government. Newsday's Matthew McAllester and Moises Saman have
disappeared from their Baghdad hotel.

0550: Ten explosions heard south of Baghdad.

0745: British forces say they have captured five Iraqi officers and killed a
colonel of the Republican Guard in a raid on a village south of Basra.

1300: Fifteen people are injured as a truck drives into a group of US
soldiers at a base in Kuwait.

1339: Coalition commander General Tommy Franks denies reports of an
operational pause in the fighting

1416: A wave of explosions is heard around the outskirts of Baghdad

1623: Palestinian group Islamic Jihad announces that volunteer suicide
bombers have arrived in Baghdad to attack coalition troops.

1700: The United Nations says a convoy of trucks carrying drinking water for
the people of southern Iraq has crossed into the country from neighbouring
Kuwait.

1815: Fresh wave of explosions reported in central Baghdad.

1845: Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz says the war is "going well"
from his country's point of view.

1931: A UK soldier was killed and others injured when their patrol was
ambushed in southern Iraq, the UK defence ministry says.

2030: Three people die and one is injured when a US marine helicopter
crashes in southern Iraq, Pentagon officials say.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2901549.stm

*  Iraq latest: At-a-glance
BBC News Online, 31st March

0003: Renewed Baghdad bombing targets area around information ministry,
correspondents say.

0210: Tomahawk cruise missile targeted the information ministry in Baghdad
to "reduce the command and control capabilities" of the Iraqi Government, US
Central Command says.

0300: US Secretary of State Colin Powell calls on Syria to stop supporting
the Iraqi leadership.

0512: Marines moving in to Nasiriya find large quantities of gas masks and
anti-nerve gas chemicals in an abandoned Iraqi camp, US Central Command
says.

0543: About 5,000 additional US troops, including special forces, are being
sent to the area around Nasiriya in a new effort to defeat Iraqi resistance
there, our correspondent says.

0604: US commanders say the city of Najaf is almost encircled. Overnight
B-52 bombers made repeated runs, and there was intense shelling after an
attempted break-out by Iraqi troops, our correspondent says.

0627: The British army says it wiped out a significant amount of armour and
infantry north of the Rumaila oil fields overnight.

0635: Two UK soldiers killed on Sunday are named by the British Army as
Marine CR Maddison, of 40 Commando, and Lance Corporal SA Brierly, with 212
Signals Squadron.

0730: British marines are continuing an operation to clear Iraqi forces from
an area to the southeast of Basra. The operation began on Sunday but met
strong resistance in some areas.

0930: Iraq's domestic state television resumed broadcasts after a disruption
probably caused by bomb damage to the Information Ministry in Baghdad,
reports say.

1021: The US military has been launching new air strikes on the city of
Nasiriya. Overnight marines said a giant AC130 gunship was used in a strike
on an Iraqi security complex.

1031: Humanitarian aid to Iraq must be accompanied by measures to repair the
environmental damage caused by the war, the director of the UN Environment
Programme says.

1040: A convoy of more than 6,000 US Marines has resumed its push towards
Baghdad and is preparing to confront a key unit of the Iraqi Republican
Guard, our correspondent says.

1124: Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri says 5,000 foreign volunteers have
arrived in Baghdad to fight against US-led forces.

1245: Low-flying aircraft target Iraqi presidential palace in Baghdad.

1258: American television channel NBC sacks veteran journalist Peter Arnett
for criticising US war plans in an interview with Iraqi state-run
television.

1341: US-led forces hold about 8,000 Iraqi prisoners of war, UK Defence
Secretary Geoff Hoon tells parliament.

1502: Iraqi television shows footage of President Saddam Hussein meeting top
aides, including his two sons. The eldest, Uday, who is charged with
defending Baghdad and Tikrit, was making his first televised appearance
since the outbreak of the US-led war on Iraq.

1509: Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf says Iraqi forces
killed 43 US and UK soldiers in past 36 hours and destroyed 13 coalition
tanks

1512: The International Committee of the Red Cross says it has visited Iraqi
prisoners of war held by US-led forces in the south of the country.

1521: US Secretary of State Colin Powell leaves for Europe on Tuesday for a
trip taking him to Turkey and Brussels.

1541: British troops free two Kenyan civilians held for the past 10 days by
Iraqi gunmen in southern Iraq.

1908: The Pentagon says there are more than 300,000 coalition troops in the
Gulf area, more than 100,000 inside Iraq.

1918: US Major General Stanley McChrystal says coalition special operations
forces have denied the Iraqi regime the opportunity to operate in western
Iraq.

1935: Iraqi capital rocked by huge explosions.

1945: President Bush says US will not relent "until Iraq is free".

2103: British troops move into southern town of al-Zubayr.

2108: Seven Iraqi civilians - all women or children - are killed by US
troops firing on their vehicle after it refused to stop at a check point
near Najaf.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2904893.stm

*  Iraq latest: At-a-glance
BBC News Online, 1st April

0010: The Daily Mirror, a UK tabloid newspaper which opposes the war, says
it has hired veteran reporter Peter Arnett - a few hours after he was sacked
by the American NBC TV network for saying the initial war plan had failed.

0300: The Washington Post reports that warning shots were fired too late to
be effective in the shooting of Iraqi civilians by US soldiers at a
checkpoint near Najaf.

0345: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal suggests Saddam Hussein
should step down as a "sacrifice for his country". In an interview on US
television, the minister also calls for a ceasefire to "give diplomacy time
to work".

0520: UK Ministry of Defence announces that a British soldier was killed in
Iraq on Monday "in the course of his duties" but gives no further details.
The soldier's family has been informed. He is the 26th UK service member
killed in Iraq.

0605: An Iraqi missile fired at Kuwait is shot down by a Patriot
anti-missile battery over southern Iraq, according to the Kuwaiti military.

0605: US marines shoot dead an unarmed Iraqi who drove a pick-up truck at
speed towards a checkpoint.

0630: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein denies reports from the Pentagon that
some of his close family has fled abroad. In a statement read out on state
television, he says his fate and that of his family is linked to that of the
Iraqi people.

0635: British forces say their positions in southern Iraq have come under
attack from short range missiles - the first time Iraqi missiles have been
aimed at targets inside Iraq rather than Kuwait. British military officials
say one missile landed near a Royal Marine base, while the other came down
next to a prisoner-of-war camp at Umm Qasr.

0720: Jordanian officials say four Iraqis have been arrested for trying to
blow up a major hotel in Amman last week.

0815: BBC correspondent in Nasiriya says there are large queues waiting to
get supplies of water, food and medicine from US marines, who have started a
humanitarian effort.

0900: New explosions are reported in the southern and western outskirts of
Baghdad.

0930: Thousands of Egyptians are taking part in a mass rally in the northern
city of Alexandria in support of the people of Iraq and against the US-led
invasion. A BBC correspondent at the rally says some people have dressed up
as suicide bombers carrying fake sticks of dynamite.

1020: US marines say they have destroyed two Iraqi T-55 tanks in the centre
of the town of Nasiriya.

1040: US Secretary of State Colin Powell is to meet Nato and EU foreign
ministers in Brussels on Thursday, the European Commission says.

1100: Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf says several people
were wounded when a US jet bombed two Iraqi buses carrying international
volunteers, some of them American, who were operating as "human shields".
There is no confirmation of this.

1202: Arabic television channel al-Jazeera says Iraqis foiled a "landing
attempt" by British forces at Khirbat al-Wa'r village in northern Iraq, west
of Mosul. UK military officials later refused to confirm or deny the report.

1219: Coalition captures an Iraqi general, US Central Command says.

1345: UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says it is "increasingly probable"
that last Wednesday's explosion which caused a large number of civilian
deaths in a Baghdad shopping area was the result of Iraqi action, rather
than a coalition missile.

1347: Southern outskirts of Baghdad come under intense bombardment.

1515: Iraqi Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan says more than 6,000 Arab
volunteers are now in Iraq, and more than half of them suicide bombers.

1525: At least 11 members of one family - including six children - killed in
a coalition air raid in Hilla area, south of Baghdad, western news reports
say.

1705: Saddam Hussein urges Iraqis to fight a "jihad" (holy war) against the
US-led coalition "everywhere," in a message read out on Iraqi television by
Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf.

1912: US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says US is not negotiating with
anyone in the Iraqi Government and it is "interesting" that President Saddam
Hussein did not read out his own message on TV.

1925: General Richard Myers, Chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff, strongly
defends Iraq war plan, saying it is working well and all top commanders
agreed on it. Speaking at a Pentagon briefing, he also apologises to
relatives of Iraqi civilians killed at US checkpoint on Monday.

2030: US Secretary of State Colin Powell arrives in Turkey, to ask for more
help sustaining the American military operation in northern Iraq.

2320: US says a "big battle" is underway between US ground forces and Iraqi
Republican Guards in Kerbala, about 68 miles (110 km) south-west of Baghdad.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2908393.stm

*  Iraq latest: At-a-glance
BBC News Online, 2nd April

0010: US Senator John Warner condemns "retired military officers" for
criticising the administration's conduct of the war in Iraq. The chairman of
the Senate armed services committee urges them to behave like former US
presidents, "who do not criticise the current president when there is a war
going on".

0025: Central Command spokesman General Vincent Brooks says US forces have
rescued a US army prisoner of war. Seven Americans have been listed as
prisoners; an unnamed source in Washington says the rescued soldier is one
of them.

0037: US military sources say US ground forces have begun a major engagement
against the Medina and Baghdad divisions of the Iraqi Republican Guard south
of Baghdad.

0100: The Pentagon confirms a soldier rescued earlier is Private Jessica
Lynch, a supply clerk who was captured on 23 March.

0545: US forces carry out sustained bombardment of Iraqi Republican Guard
positions around Karbala overnight and move forward, the BBC's Gavin Hewitt
reports.

0550: US forces who rescued Private Jessica Lynch also found the bodies of
two US soldiers and eight Iraqi troops, the US military says - it is not
clear if they died in the operation or were already dead.

0630: A structure in the southern city of Basra comes under heavy artillery
fire from UK forces, who say they were fired upon overnight. Stream of
civilian traffic seen leaving the city just prior to the firing, the BBC's
Kylie Morris reports.

0700: US marines say they have seized a key bridge across the River Tigris
to take control of one of the main highways north towards Baghdad at the
city of Kut.

0825: US Secretary of State Colin Powell meets Turkish Foreign Minister
Abdullah Gul to try to win more co-operation from Turkey for the US military
campaign in northern Iraq.

0955: Amnesty International urges US-led forces in Iraq to take greater care
to prevent civilian casualties and calls for independent inquiry into
killing of seven people at a US checkpoint. Criticises Iraq for using
soldiers disguised as civilians.

1000: Russia protests to the United States over an air strike which Moscow
says targeted an area close to its embassy in Baghdad.

1035: BBC Monitoring reports that Iraqi satellite TV went off air at this
time and is currently not transmitting on any of the three satellite
frequencies they monitor.

1050: One of President Saddam Hussein's palaces in central Baghdad hit by
missile or bomb, news agency reports say.

1100: President Saddam Hussein chairs meeting on Wednesday of top officials,
Iraqi state television says, but no footage shown.

1120: US military says Iraqi forces fired on coalition troops from inside
revered mosque in Najaf, but American troops did not return fire. Iraqi
information minister accuses US-led forces of targeting the shrine.

1148: Iraq's information minister denies US troops have crossed the Tigris
river in their advance on Baghdad.

1200: Turkey and the US say they have agreed on a number of measures to
improve their co operation in Iraq, including some support for US troops and
access for humanitarian aid.

1226: US military says US forces have destroyed Baghdad division of
Republican Guard and that other Republican Guard divisions are in trouble
and under serious attack.

1230: Doctors at the Saddam Hospital in central Nasiriya say they have
registered more than 250 deaths since the fighting in the city began.

1255: UK forces say they have found what they believe is a torture centre
run by Saddam Hussein's secret police in the southern town of Abu al-Khasib.

1300: Brigadier General Vincent Brooks of US Central Command says American
troops have crossed a "red line" around Baghdad which the military believe
could trigger a chemical attack by Iraqi forces.

1330: US military says it is looking into an allegation that coalition
aircraft have bombed a Red Crescent maternity hospital in Baghdad.

1400: US forces report that B-52 bombers have used a new version of a
cluster bomb against an Iraqi tank column in central Iraq; the weapon adapts
to wind and weather to hit targets more accurately.

1600: Colonel Ron Johnson, the chief operations officer for the US marines
force in Nasiriya, says civilian casualties in the city were made inevitable
because Iraqi forces ignored the rules of war.

1706: The US military says some of its units are now less than 20 miles (32
kilometres) from Baghdad, reports the BBC's Gavin Hewitt, who is with the US
3rd Infantry advancing on the Iraqi capital.

1900: Iraqi satellite TV shows Saddam Hussein chairing a meeting of senior
ministers, looking relaxed and smiling. There is no sound and it is not
clear when the pictures were recorded.

1919: US marines have established a presence across most of the southern
city of Nasiriya, the BBC's Andrew North reports from the city. Local people
give them a qualified welcome but still clearly fear Saddam Hussein and
resent the effects of the US-led war on their city, he says.

1945: Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow does not want to see the
United States fail in Iraq. His comment appears to be an effort at
conciliation with Washington after the US accused Moscow of aiding the Iraqi
military, the BBC's Nikolai Gorshkov in Moscow says. Moscow denies helping
Iraq.

2202: Arabic TV station Al-Jazeera announces it is suspending the work of
all its correspondents in Iraq until further notice. The move comes after
the Iraqi Information Ministry bans one Al-Jazeera correspondent from
working and orders another to leave the country.

2210: Rescued PoW Jessica Lynch arrives in Germany for medical treatment.

2257: A convoy of trucks crosses the Turkish-Iraqi border carrying military
equipment for US forces, the second such shipment in as many nights.

2335: Dubai's Al-Arabiya television reports that terrestrial television
broadcasting has stopped in Iraq following bombing. Satellite television
remains on air.

At the same briefing, Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld says there has
been no more precise bombing campaign "in recent memory" and that Saddam
Hussein is a greater threat to the Iraqi people than the US campaign is.




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