Renewed Fighting Friday at Khafji Editors note: This story is based on pool reports submitted
Renewed Fighting Friday at Khafji Editors note: This story is based on pool reports submitted to military censors
KHAFJI, Saudi Arabia (AP) _ Iraqi tanks massed at the Saudi border and more fighting raged in the frontier town of Khafji on Friday. The allies claimed earlier they had driven back an Iraqi drive into Saudia Arabia, officials said.
Witnesses saw wounded being carried out of this Saudi border town and said the route between the city and Iraqi-occupied Kuwait was still open to Iraqi troops.
Four Iraqi mechanized armored brigades were reported on the move north of the border, which is about 6 miles north of Khafji, and military officers quoted in a pool report said another attack appeared likely.
After nightfall on Thursday, U.S. sources said the town was all but rid of Iraqis after a two-day battle that followed an Iraqi takeover of the city.
Saudi Gen. Khalid Bin Sultan said his troops, backed by U.S. Marines, had cleared the area of Iraqi troops on Thursday afternoon and captured 350 Iraqi prisoners.
″They lost 90 percent of their forces,″ he said.
But it was clear later that heavy fighting was still continuing along the border and in the city. Pool reports described incoming rocket and artillery fire in the distance and heavy pounding from allied air strikes.
U.S. Army Col. Jack Petri, a liaison officer with Saudi forces, said that Iraqi troops were again moving north of the border Thursday night. He called Khafji ″pretty secure″ but said there still was sporadic fire coming from Iraqi stragglers.
Iraqi incursions across the Saudi border Tuesday night began the first serious ground fighting of the war. At least 11 Marines were killed in the fighting. Casualty figures on the Iraqis and allied forces have not been released.