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USWAR/Rumors of US or British paratroopers landing in Iran denied

 Abadan, Khuzestan prov, March 27, IRNA -- An official for security    
affairs in the southern province of Khuzestan denied here Thursday    
rumors that two US or British paratroopers had landed in the southern 
part of the province in the area called 'Khur-e Doraq'.               
    He told IRNA that there is no truth to such assertion and that in 
contacts with local people they have rejected any indication that     
foreign forces have landed on the Iranian soil.                       
    Earlier on Thursday, several reports had quoted villagers in the  
area as saying that two British or US pilots or paratroopers had      
veered off-course due to strong winds and landed in the area.         
    Khuzestan borders Iraq and although several war-related incidents 
have occurred in the area, life goes on as usual.                     
    The head of provincial port of Abadan Shipping Organization       
Hedayatollah Feyze-Mahdavi said here Wednesday that despite the       
intense fighting close to Iran-Iraq border shipping is still operating
    "There are no unusual security fallout due to the war at the      
port," he said, adding there have been no snags in customs operations 
or in loading and unloading of goods.                                 
    He said shipping is taking place normally and "only due to the    
Iranian new year holiday the activity has somewhat tapered off."      
    Abadan is one of the busiest ports in Iran with huge volume of    
cargo passing through its docks daily.                                
    At least three projectiles have landed in the Iranian territory   
since the war began last Thursday and Tehran has blamed both the      
coalition forces and Iraq for the attacks.                            
    Two severe blasts rocked the city of Abadan last Friday. The      
explosions were followed by a column of smoke and dust across the     
border inside the Iraqi territory.                                    
    Iranian oil depot in the southwestern city of Abadan had been     
target of the first rocket fired from an American plane. At least two 
people, including a guard of the depot, were injured in the attack and
the injured were taken to hospital.                                   

last Update Thursday, 27-Mar-2003 10:38:14 PST
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