CP Reporter Tells of Baghdad Damage
TORONTO (AP) _ A housewife in beleaguered Baghdad told a Canadian Press reporter how her family’s breakfast time turned into a chaos of noise and destruction when Desert Storm warplanes attacked the Iraqi capital.
″We heard no siren,″ Maria Daoud was quoted as saying in the CP report. ″There was no air raid warning. We heard something hitting the house, and we all rushed outside. The second missile hit the house, and it crumpled before our eyes.″
She and her family were not injured, she said, but now ″we have nowhere to go.″
The CP correspondent, Leila Deeb, a Jordanian, was taken to the Daoud house and other damaged areas of Baghdad on Thursday by Iraqi officials.
The Canadian Press said it was not known whether the dispatch had been subjected to Iraqi censorship.
Correspondent Peter Arnett of the Cable News Network, one of the other remaining foreign correspondents in Baghdad, has said their movements are limited and their work overseen by Iraqi authorities, but few changes are made in their reports.
The Iraqis contend many attacks by U.S. and allied warplanes have damaged residential and other non-military locations in Iraq. The command of Operation Desert Storm, the anti-Iraq coalition, says it has targeted only military and other strategic sites, although officers acknowledge that civilians inevitably will suffer in such widespread bombing.
Mrs. Daoud was asked what happened when her rented house was hit.
″I went crazy,″ the CP report quoted her as saying. ″I didn’t know where to go, where to look for my husband, my daughters, my sons. I couldn’t see the light.″
She said she is worried now that her soldier son may hear of the attack and try to return to the family. ″We’d have to stay here 24 hours a day″ waiting for him, she was quoted as saying, pointing to the pile of rubble.
Iraqi officials said two other houses were destroyed in the same raid.
Other buildings on the government-guided tour had less damage, Deeb reported.
The Adila Khatoun mosque, in Baghdad’s Sarrafieh area, had shattered glass all over its carpeted floor, apparently the result of a bomb or missile that landed a few days earlier on shops and restaurants across the street.
Some rooms were destroyed at a clinic near the Al-Mukhtar rehabilitation and psychiatric hospital, the CP report said. No one was reported hurt there, it said, but authorities reported that two civil defense officers were killed at the Baghdad-area civil defense headquarters, responsible for helping civilians.
Despite the bombing raids, some shops were still providing food and other necessities, Deeb reported. She said houses and hotels were still without electricity, and she had to use a flashlight to navigate the dark corridors of the Al-Rashid Hotel, where she was staying.