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US Jets Bomb Iraqi Defense Sites

February 19, 2000

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ Three Iraqi civilians were wounded Saturday when U.S. warplanes bombed a northern city during patrols of the no-fly zone, the official Iraqi News Agency said.

``Enemy warplanes attacked a civilian site, which resulted in the injury of three of our citizens,″ an unnamed Iraqi Air Defense Force spokesman told the news agency.

The U.S. military said its planes struck at an air-defense system north of the city of Mosul, 250 miles north of Baghdad, in response to Iraqi artillery fire during patrols of the no-fly zone.

All the planes left the area safely, the Germany-based U.S. European Command said in a statement. The planes are based at Incirlik air base in southern Turkey.

The Iraqi spokesman said allied warplanes also flew over cities in the southern no-fly zone, ``bombing some of our civil and service sites.″

He did not elaborate.

U.S. and British planes have frequently attacked Iraqi military sites since Iraq began challenging the patrols in December 1998.

Baghdad does not recognize the no-fly zones, which were set up shortly after the 1991 Persian Gulf War to protect Shiite Muslims in the south and Kurds in the north from the forces of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

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