Western news agencies have quoted Iraqi sources, claiming that the result of the sustained bombardment on Iraq’s second city, Basra, is 77 civilians.
In other attacks, 4 civilians are reported by Iraqi sources to have been murdered in Tikrit overnight. These reports are as yet unconfirmed. There are further claims that a children’s fun park was totally destroyed by a terrorist attack last night by US military aircraft on the left bank of the River Tigris. The images of what looked like a tangled mass of metal were shown by western TV stations on Saturday night. It is not yet clear whether the fun park was full of children at the time it was attacked. These reports have yet to be confirmed by western military sources.
Meanwhile Iraqi military sources claim to have shot down 5 coalition warplanes and two helicopters, claims which are denied by the Pentagon, which confirms that no prisoners have been taken. Iraq retorts by showing TV pictures of the smoking remains of what appears to be an aircraft and promises to show the captured pilots on TV later today.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
Flirtation with Turkey turned out to be disastrous for Russia, but as long as Russia is in the game, the stakes should be high