Heavy firefight in Umm Qasr, Saddam's home town bombed
A heavy firefight broke out between US Marines and Iraqi forces in the southern Iraqi town of Umm Qasr Sunday, one day after US officials said they had won control of the strategic port, witnesses said.
According to Reuters, US soldiers opened up with heavy bursts of machine-gun fire in an area where US forces had set up a headquarters in the town.
Qatar-based television al Jazeera said Iraqis appeared to be staging "a counter attack" in the port city.
British Sky News reported that U.S. Marines at Umm Qasr captured an Iraqi Republican Guard officer in civilian clothing who said that there were 120 troops holed up in a bunker there. Allied tanks were surrounding the area.
According to Iraqi reports, at least four U.S. troops killed in the city.
Meanwhile, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit has been hit by heavy bombardment as U.S. and British forces step up their air assault, an official Iraqi source said on Sunday.
"The bombardment targeted Tikrit last night, they heavily blasted it," the source said, adding that bombs had also hit the town, 175 km north of Baghdad, on Friday.
The source had no further information on possible damage in the city. An official trip for journalists to Tikrit on Saturday was postponed. According to Iraqi reports, at least four people were killed in Tikrit. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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