Iraqi Child Killed, Four People Injured in US, British Air Raid

Published May 18th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

An Iraqi child was killed and four other civilians were injured, two of them seriously, by a missile fired from a US plane flying over southern Iraq Wednesday, the regional head of Iraqi air defense told journalists in Baghdad. Reported AFP. 

"Omran Harbi, who was 12 and worked as a farmer, was killed on the spot when his skull was smashed by the explosion of the American missile," said General Mohammed Sabah al-Hameiri. 

Two of the four men also hit were "seriously injured" and have been taken to the Saddam hospital in Najaf, Dr. Saad Wadday of the village medical center told AFP.  

Tok al-Ghazal is in Najaf province, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Baghdad. 

Wadday said his center did not have the means to treat them, but had been able to deal with the other two, whose wounds were superficial. 

Journalists were shown a blackened crater nearly two meters (six feet) deep at the site of the impact in a wheat field. 

"The Tok al-Ghazal area is an agricultural region, not a military one, and is very far from any military activity," Hameiri said. 

Villager Ali Taleb, who was 150 meters (yards) away when the bomb fell at 11 a.m. (0700 GMT), said 30 sheep and six cows had also been killed. 

He said that Omran's funeral had taken place immediately after the attack. 

The Iraqi news agency quoted a military spokesman as saying that nine hostile formations had attacked targets in southern Iraq, killing a 12-year-old boy and injuring another four people in Najaf province, 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Baghdad, according to Reuters.  

The spokesman said the incident took place inside a farm. Cattle and sheep were killed and a harvester was damaged.  

He also said other planes “attacked civilian and service installations in the north of the country” but did not report further casualties.  

The spokesman said that Iraqi anti-aircraft defenses challenged the planes and drove them back to their bases in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.  

There was no immediate response by Washington or London to the Iraqi report.  

Western air raids on Iraq have become a regular occurrence since Baghdad decided in December 1998 to challenge U.S. and British jets patrolling northern and southern no-fly zones set up by Western powers after the 1991 Gulf War.  

Washington and London insist the attacks are aimed only at military targets.  

Iraq had said on Tuesday that six people, including a child, were injured when Western planes attacked targets in the north and south of the country.  

 

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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