Posted by Sadie from ? (188.8.131.52) on Monday, March 31, 2003 at 2:47PM :
Published on Monday, March 31, 2003 by the Agence France Presse
Twenty Civilians Killed When Raid Hit Farm
BAGHDAD - Twenty people, including 11 children, were killed when a nighttime missile attack struck a farm near Baghdad, relatives told AFP.
A man passes a dead cow among the ruins of farm in al-Janabiyeh, 10 km south-east of Baghdad. The farm was hit by a missile, leaving 20 people dead and 10 injured.(AFP/Patrick Baz)
Another 10 people were wounded, according to relatives who survived the Saturday night assault, which destroyed three homes in the Al-Janabiin suburb on the southeastern edge of Baghdad.
They said the dead also included seven women and two men belonging to five families.
The two relatives were the only residents to escape unharmed from the ruins of the homes, according to an AFP journalist on the scene.
Civilian casualities in Baghdad and its outskirts have mounted since the war's outbreak on March 20.
The US-led coalition has relentlessly bombed the southern rim of the city, where elite Republican Guard units are believed to be guarding the approach to President Saddam Hussein's seat of power.
The witnesses in Al-Janabiin, who showed an AFP journalist the debris from the attack, said a missile struck the farm leaving a trail of destruction over a wide area.
AFP journalists have witnessed five such incidents in which civilians were the primary victims of a coalition strike, reporting at least 70 dead and dozens of wounded.
Iraqi officials have said hundreds of civilians have been killed and wounded since the start of the war.
US and British war planners have declared their intent to minimize civilian casualities and accuse the Iraqi leadership of deliberately placing military targets such as weapons and ammunition in residential neighborhoods.
They have also suggested that some of the blasts might have been the result of misguided Iraqi anti-missile missiles.
Copyright 2003 AFP
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