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March 29, 2003
 
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Iraqis Bombard Areas Near Northern Town Chamchamal

Reuters


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CHAMCHAMAL, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi forces hit areas close to the northern Iraqi town of Chamchamal on Saturday, hitting territory which two days earlier was under their control before they retreated toward the city of Kirkuk.

Reuters correspondent Mike Collett-White heard five blasts and saw trails of white smoke in the sky above the Kurd-controlled town. The trails suggested they were missiles or propelled shells coming from the direction of Kirkuk.

The missiles or shells appeared to be landing west of the town a few km in the direction of Kirkuk, which lies some 22 miles away.

Kurdish "peshmerga" fighters are known to have been in the former Iraqi barrack town of Qarahanjir earlier in the day, although it was unclear if they were the target of the attack. On Friday, Chamchamal itself was hit by two explosions and five just outside the town.

Iraqi forces withdrew from frontlines overlooking Chamchamal on Thursday, possibly to strengthen their defenses around Kirkuk, a strategic prize in the U.S.-led war on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein for its huge oil resources.

Copyright 2003 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
 
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