Date :3/22/03 11:46:50 PM
  No.: 55
llll bbbb SPA- 55 - general/ Iraq military says it shot down 21 cruise missiles

BAGHDAD, Mar 22, SPA-- The Iraqi military has shot down 21 cruise missiles as it defends the country against an air assault by U.S. and British forces, a military spokesman said on Saturday.

U.S.-led forces have fired hundreds of missiles at Iraq launching a war on Thursday. U.S. warships alone fired 320 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Friday, an U.S. admiral said.

The Iraqi spokesman said that Iraqi armored forces and Baath party militias had also blocked U.S. and British troops from advancing near the southern Iraqi town of Nassiriya, and had forced U.S. soldiers to retreat from positions near the Faw peninsula. --SPA 2352 Local Time 2052 GMT

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