First Published 2003-04-03, Last Updated 2003-04-03 17:33:01


A child with amputed arms is comforted by his mother


Missile kills eight Iraqi civilians in Baghdad


Hospital source reports eight civilians killed when missile hit vegetable market at Nahrawan in southern Baghdad.


BAGHDAD - Eight civilians died and five were wounded Thursday by a missile that hit a vegetable market at Nahrawan on the southeastern edge of Baghdad, an Iraqi hospital source said.

The casualties were taken to Baghdad's al-Kindi hospital, a photographer reported.

In Qatar, US Central Command (Centcom) announced it was investigating the report, adding "At this time, Central Command has no information".

Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Said al-Sahhaf said US-British bombing of Baghdad Thursday killed 27 civilians and wounded 193.

However, at Centcom a senior US commander rejected suggestions that US and British forces have been "bombing Baghdad" indiscriminately, insisting that every site targetted so far in the city has been military in nature.

"Our attacks against anything in Baghdad are precision attacks ... against specific regime or against a military complex, something that has military relevance," Brigadier General Vincent Brooks said.

Brooks acknowledged "that the regime has some different evidence" but said it stemmed from "what they've been doing to their own population".

US commanders and spokesmen say that forces loyal to Saddam Hussein may be deliberately harming their own people and then blaming the coalition for the actions.

US military investigators are, meanwhile, looking into the attack on Hilla, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the capital, where the local hospital director said 33 people died and 300 were hurt in a coalition air strike on Tuesday.

They are also investigating reports that coalition planes struck a Red Crescent maternity hospital in Baghdad on Wednesday.

Witnesses said one person was killed and a dozen people were wounded when aircraft targeting the site of Baghdad's annual trade fair blasted the clinic.
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