MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) _ Kuwait's government-in-exile said it lost one warplane during the assault on Iraq and Kuwait today.

The Kuwait news agency, Kuna, quoted Sheik Sabah al-Ahmed, the Kuwaiti defense minister, as saying the plane was downed while flying over Kuwait.

Saud Nassir al-Sabah, Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States, said it was a Kuwaiti Skyhawk that was downed. He told reporters in Washington that the crew ejected near the Saudi frontier and that rescue operations were under way.

He said Kuwaiti officials, who have been monitoring the Operation Desert Storm closely, believed the plane was downed by anti-aircraft shelling.

Kuwait joined with Saudi Arabia, France, Britain and the United States in the raids on Iraq and Kuwait aimed at driving Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait, where they invaded five months ago.

The United States and Britain both lost a plane and France said three of its fighters jets were hit and one of its pilots slightly injured. More than 1,000 U.S. and allied sorties were flown during the first day of battle.

Before Iraq occupied Kuwait, the emirate's military escaped with some of its Mirage F-1 interceptors and Skyhawk ground attack jets.