US airstrikes on Basra kill 50 and injure 27: Al-Jazeera

Sat Mar 22, 5:31 PM ET

DOHA (AFP) - US-led airstrikes on the southern Iraqi city of Basra killed 50 people and injured 27 others, according to a report by the Qatari satellite television Al-Jazeera.

Al Jazeera showed gruesome images of two dead children with their heads blown up lying on the floor of a hospital.

Another image showed five corpses lying side by side including that of a child. The correspondent said it was a family.

The injured were shown lying on the floor and on beds at the Al-Jumhuriya hospital which, according to Al-Jazeera, was plunged in the dark after electric power was cut off in the bombardment.

US ground troops had reached Basra on Saturday and were surrounding the city of some 1.5 million, located 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad.

General Tommy Franks, head of the US command, said on Saturday he had no plans to move on Basra, Iraq's second city and main port, but would prefer to work with civilians there "who are welcoming the forces as they come in."

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