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Day 18, latest reports

Xinhuanet 2003-04-07 11:30:19

(Source: USA Today, updated 7:10 pm ET, April 6)

Spot 1: U.S. plane bombs allied convoy

A convoy of allied Kurdish fighters and U.S. Special Forces was bombed by U.S. warplanes southeast of Erbil. At least 18 people were killed and more than 45 wounded, including senior Kurdish commanders, Kurdish officials said.

Spot 2: British forces push into Basra

British forces made their deepest push yet into Basra, with a column of 40 armored personnel carriers rolling into the country's second-biggest city after a series of strikes on Saddam Hussein's loyalist defenders.

For the first time, British forces have set up checkpoints in the city.

Spot 3: Residents say they won't cooperate

Although coalition forces have complete control of the city, many residents say they won't cooperate.

Spot 4: Exiles arrive

More than 500 soldiers of the Iraqi National Congress, an opposition group in exile, were airlifted into Iraq to help marines find paramilitary fighters.

Spot 5: Fierce fighting reported

About 500 paramilitary Fedayeen fighters ambushed soldiers from the Army's 101st Airbrne Division in and around this holy Muslim city.

Spot 6: U.S. claims to find suspected terrotist training camp

U.S. forces searching a suspected terrorist training camp claimed to find obstacle courses, gas masks, and the shell of a passenger jet.

They also sifted throuth the Republican Guard's 2nd Corps Headquarters, coming away with parts of computers and what Lt. Col. Michael Belcher called "critical documents" regarding "ememy weapons and communications".

Bahgdad Region

Baghdad : U.S. marines encounter sporadic firefights

The U.S. Marines 7th Infantry battling five miles south of Baghdad engaged Iraqi fighters in sporadic firefights.

Central Command said Sunday that 2,000 to 3,000 Iraqis were killed during Saturday's incursion into southern Baghdad.

A Marine battalion overran a Republican Guard headquarters and seized one of Saddam's palaces south of the city.

Downtown Baghdad: U.S. plane lands at airport

A C-130 cargo plane landed late Sunday, the first known U.S. airpcraft to arrive in the Iraqi capital since the airfield fell into U.S. hands.

Despite sporadic attacks remnants of the special Republican Guard, U.S. forces have control over the airport.

U.S. troops continue to search tunnel underneath the airfield for Iraqi soldier hiding out of sight.

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