BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ An Iraqi civilian was killed and two others were injured Saturday when U.S. and British warplanes patrolling a no-fly zone bombed southern Iraq, the official Iraqi News Agency reported.

The U.S. Central Command said six U.S. Air Force F-16 Falcons and two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets enforcing the southern no-fly zone used precision-guided weapons to strike a surface-to-air missile battery near Kut.

It said the ``strikes came in response to the recent Iraqi movement of the SAM battery into a position threatening coalition aircraft,'' and added that the planes have sought to avoid injuring civilians.

The Iraqi New Agency said Iraqi anti-air defenses fired at the planes and forced them to flee to bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

It also said allied planes also flew over northern Iraq, but it did not report any bombing there.

U.S. and British planes have been patrolling no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq since the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The zones were set up to protect Kurdish and Shiite Muslim minorities from the forces of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Iraq calls the zones a violation of international law and has frequently challenged the allied planes since December.

Following Iraqi allegations that the bombings were killing civilians, U.S. jets have been dropping bombs filled with concrete instead of explosives to minimize casualties in raids on Iraqi installations.