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Monday 02.06.2003, CET 22:43
March 22, 2003 11:45 PM
Jazeera shows grisly pictures of dead Iraqis
KUWAIT (Reuters) - Al-Jazeera television, quoting Iraqi medics, say that 50 people have been killed in U.S. bombing around the
southern Iraqi city of Basra and it has aired grisly footage of dead and wounded civilians.

Among the scenes, beamed across the Arab the world by the Qatar-based satellite channel, were a child with the back of its
head blown off -- it was unclear if it was a boy or a girl -- and bloodied people being treated on the floor of a hospital.

"It's a huge mass of civilians," one angry woman told al-Jazeera, standing among the wounded. "It was a massacre."

The report could not be independently confirmed. U.S. and British forces have been in action around Basra. U.S. Marines
defeated Iraqi forces in a battle on the outskirts of the city on Saturday, and took many prisoners, a U.S. officer said.

It was not immediately clear who controlled Basra and there was no other immediate confirmation of the bombings.

Asked about whether U.S.-led forces had bombed Basra, a military spokesman in Qatar declined comment, saying: "That is
considered an ongoing operation and until it is over we're not going to go out there one way or another on that."

U.S. and British forces say they are intent on keeping civilian casualties to a minimum in their war to overthrow Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein.

Jazeera quoted hospital sources as saying a total of 50 people were killed -- including one entire family and a Russian citizen --
when U.S. F-16 warplanes planes bombed the city.

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