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Allied Warplanes Strike Iraq

June 28, 2001

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ U.S. and British warplanes have struck targets in southern Iraq, wounding one civilian, the official Iraqi News Agency said Wednesday.

Iraqi anti-aircraft missile units hit an aircraft in Tuesday’s attack, an unidentified Iraqi military spokesman told the agency. But the Pentagon denied the report.

The Iraqi spokesman said coalition warplanes ``targeted our civil and service installations in the province of Basra,″ 340 miles south of Baghdad, the agency reported.

``Evidence indicates that an enemy warplane was hit,″ the Iraqi spokesman said.

The U.S. military said the attack came in response to ``Iraqi hostile acts against coalition aircraft monitoring the southern no-fly zone.″

A statement by Central Command’s headquarters at McDill Air Force Base, Florida, said the aircraft used precision-guided weapons to strike an anti-aircraft artillery site in southern Iraq.

In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Marine Lt. Col. Dave Lapan said all aircraft returned safely.

U.S. and British jets have been patrolling no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq in a program designed to protect Kurdish and Shiite groups against government forces. Baghdad has been challenging the planes since late 1998, saying the zones violate its sovereignty and international law.

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