Disputes continue over Baghdad market bombing, Basra rebellion

27 March 2003
Baghdad suffered another night of bombing on 27 March, with four waves of air raids reported to be targeting government buildings. Dispute continued over which side was responsible for the bombing of a marketplace in northern Baghdad the day before, which left fourteen civilians dead. The US said that it did not believe the missile was fired by coalition forces, and a military spokesman at Central Command in Qatar said: 'One possibility and high probability is that it was caused from the fallout from the regime's anti-aircraft fire.' A BBC correspondent in Baghdad speaking on the Today radio programme doubted this explanation however, saying that the Iraqis had virtually ceased using anti-aircraft fire against coalition bombers in recent days.

Further south, fierce fighting continued around Nasiriya between US marines and Iraqi troops. UK forces around Basra attacked an Iraqi armoured column breaking out of the besieged city, destroying three tanks. The incipient rebellion in the city reported by British troops on 26 March has yet to show further development. Iraq has dismissed the reports as false. UK Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said that the situation in Basra remained 'unclear'.

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