Iraqi TV building bombed; Iraqi forces launch counter-attack in Najaf area, Pentagon says more than 100 Iraqis killed
Using missiles and warplanes, invasion forces struck Iraqi state-run television early Wednesday, and the station's signal was knocked off the air.
After a series of explosions along with the sound of low flying aircraft, smoke was seen next to the information ministry and the Iraqi TV building. The signal from Iraqi Satellite TV, which broadcasts 24 hours a day outside Iraq, went off the air around 4:30 a.m..
At the Pentagon, a U.S. military spokeswoman said coalition aircraft struck the Iraqi state-run television channel. Damage assessment was not complete, she told The Associated Press.
The coalition airstrikes targeted not only Iraqi television but also government communications and satellite links at several sites in the capital, U.S. military officials said. The strikes used Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from U.S. Navy ships and bombs dropped by coalition aircraft.
"These targets are key regime command and control assets," said Jim Wilkinson, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command.
Meanwhile, American infantry troops fought off a desert attack by Iraqis on Tuesday, inflicting heavy casualties in a clash less than 160 kilometers from Baghdad.
Defense officials said between 150 and 500 Iraqis were killed in the battle near An Najaf, adding there were no immediate reports of American casualties. Iraqis launched their attack on a day of howling sandstorms.
Elements of the 7th Cavalry Regiment were east of An Najaf when they suddenly came under fire from rocket-propelled grenades, the official said. The Iraqis were on foot and it was not clear whether they were from regular army units, paramilitary forces or the Republican Guard.
Some of the 7th Cavalry's equipment was damaged in the attack, the official said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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