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Iraq: US forces intensify attacks

Issue No. 1879

THE WAR in Iraq has reached new heights over the last week, six months after George Bush claimed it was over. US planes and helicopters pounded several cities including parts of the capital, Baghdad, with 500 pound bombs. All civilian flights into Baghdad airport were suspended after a surface to air missile hit a German Airbus cargo plane on Saturday.

Over 70 US troops have been killed this month, the highest since the supposed end of the war. The US response has been to kill more Iraqis. In the town of Fallujah US soldiers shot dead five civilians by opening fire on a lorry carrying chickens last week.

US military police killed three Iraqi prisoners and wounded eight more on Monday as protests erupted at the 'Baghdad Correctional Centre'-the compound where the US holds thousands of prisoners. US forces in Baghdad managed to almost kill a member of the collaborationist Iraqi governing council last week. They opened fire on a car carrying Mohammed Bahr al-Uloum, seriously wounding his driver.

The US military was forced to withdraw claims that two of its soldiers had had their throats cut and their bodies dragged through the street of Mosul in an attack on Sunday. A US official admitted on Tuesday, 'Their throats were not slit. The cause of death was gunshot wounds.'

The US occupation forces closed down the Arab Al Arabiya TV this week station for daring to broadcast extracts from a tape with a speech supposedly made by Saddam Hussein.

Afghanistan: situation worsens

IRAQ IS not the only place that US and British forces are bogged down in a chaotic and brutal occupation. The deputy commander of the occupying forces in Afghanistan this week warned, 'The security situation is not getting any better. If the international community does not do something it's bound to get worse.'

Attacks on US forces in Afghanistan have spiralled upwards. Five US soldiers were killed and seven wounded when a helicopter came down near the Bagram air base near the capital, Kabul, on Sunday. It had apparently been hit by small arms fire from the ground.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has banned its staff from travelling by road. It has closed down its refugee centres in Paktia, Khost and Kandahar.

A UN report estimates that over the last year Afghanistan has produced 76 percent of the world's opium, up from 12 percent in 2001-before the occupation.

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Sat 29 Nov 2003, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1879
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