Reconstruction work has commenced on an Iraqi bridge on the Euphrates River that was leveled during the 1991 Gulf War and remained the last one to be rebuilt, a senior Iraqi official said Sunday.
"A budget for 2.2 billion dinars (1.1 million dollars) has been set aside for the project which will take 450 days," Hussein Yusuf al-Lahibi, director of the bridges and roads authority, told Ath-Thawra newspaper.
"All elements concerned have started work so the bridge will once again stand proudly in its old spot," Lahibi said, adding that hundreds of laborers and architects were employed in the bridge's reconstruction.
The metal Al-Nasser, or victory, bridge, which crosses the Euphrates in the southern Iraqi town of Al-Nassiriya, was destroyed by allied planes during the Gulf War.
According to Baghdad, the February 4, 1991 raid on the bridge killed 400 and wounded hundreds more Iraqis who were either crossing it or were nearby.
Iraq's President Saddam Hussein ordered the bridge to be rebuilt at the end of 1999 - BAGHDAD (AFP)
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