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Cruise missiles slam into Baghdad

A dozen cruise missiles slammed into Baghdad early on Tuesday while British and US warplanes targetted elite Republican Guards.

world Updated: Apr 01, 2003 10:24 IST

A dozen cruise missiles slammed into Baghdad early on Tuesdaywhile British and US warplanes targetted elite Republican Guards, who faced their first significant battle with US forces on the ground.

US forces also shot dead seven women and children after the civilian vehicle in which they were travelling failed to stop at a military checkpoint south of Baghdad.

In the south, British forces attacked the outskirts of the port city of Basra, seen as a key to controlling southeast Iraq, but said they were waiting for reinforcements before making a final push.

Pentagon official Major General Stanley McChrystal said most of the 1,000 air sorties launched in Iraq Sunday were against the four Republican Guard divisions positioned around Baghdad.

"We are seeing significant degradation of those forces," McChrystal said.

War planes battered Baghdad and its southern outskirts for the 12th straight day yesterday, with two missiles crashing into Saddam's sprawling Republican Palace compound, the first such strike in broad daylight.

Bombing of a residential neighbourhood in the capital left six Iraqi civilians dead and dozens more wounded.

Residents of a village on the southeastern edge of Baghdad said that 20 people, including 11 children, were killed and 10 other hurt at the weekend during a nighttime missile attack on a farm.

First Published: Apr 01, 2003 08:50 IST