Missiles target US military aircraft

Missiles fired at a US transport plane taking off from Baghdad failed to hit their target, according to a US military spokeswoman.

    Lawlessness: More Iraqis are taking security into their own hands

    Sunday’s attack caused no injuries or damage to equipment, but is the third missile launch against US occupation aircraft since the end of the invasion.

    Baghdad airport has been closed to civilian traffic since the war due to security fears.

    In an earlier incident on Sunday, two children died in a gun battle fought between Iraqi police and an armed group in Falluja, west of Baghdad.

    An 11-year old boy and nine-year old girl both died in the main street of Falluja, 50km northwest of Baghdad, during an exchange of fire, according to police.

    In southern Iraq, the main headquarters of the Shia Islamic al-Dawa party in Basra was targetted in two automatic gunfire attacks, according to Jabbar Latif, a member of the party's political branch.
    After the attack, a dozen armed guards set up a roadblock in view of British soldiers aboard a military vehicle positioned in the area.
    More civilian shootings

    A Ukrainian soldier serving in the Polish-controlled military zone in Iraq killed an Iraqi civilian and wounded another at the weekend, in the first such incident since Poland took command of the area, a spokesman for the force said on Sunday.
    "The incident occurred on Saturday in Wasit province," spokesman Andrzej Wiatrowski told Polish state radio.
    "The driver of a van didn't stop at a checkpoint … the soldier's life was in danger. He had to shoot. The driver was killed on the spot and a passenger was wounded."
    Poland took military command on Wednesday of a sector of Iraq covering five provinces in the centre and south. The division it controls comprises soldiers from 21 countries, led by 2350 Poles, 1650 Ukrainians and 1200 Spaniards.

    Explosive devices continue to be
    discovered on Kirkuk pipeline

    In the north of Iraq, 5000 people demonstrated in Kirkuk to demand the release of Shaikh Hatam al-Assy al-Ubaidi, the head of a tribe arrested on 30 August by US troops on suspicion of turning a blind eye to sabotage of fuel pipelines.
    The protesters also called for the departure of the city's Kurdish governor, Abd al-Rahman Zankani, and new elections. "Kirkuk is a city for all Iraqis and not only the Kurds," they cried.
    Al-Ubaidi signed an agreement with the Americans in late July to guard a 90km stretch of eight oil pipelines and three power cables between oil-rich Kirkuk and Baiji, site of Iraq's largest fuel refinery.

    But the tribal leader told journalists on 18 August it was possible his clan members were involved in the attacks. "Some of my tribe are without work. Maybe they're the ones attacking the lines," said the shaikh.
    Al-Ubaidi's three-month contract with the Americans was reached as the US-led coalition forces, coping with a spate of attacks on oil facilities and the electricity grid, decided it was better to turn to the tribes for protection than go it alone.
    More British troops

    Meanwhile, additional British forces arrived at Basra airport on Sunday to reinforce their grip on the south of the country, a British military spokesman said.
    Major Charles Mayo said the 120 troops, which have bolstered the number of British forces in Iraq to 10,620, arrived in two groups at Basra airport in southern Iraq.
    The decision to send extra troops from the Second Light Infantry could mark the start of an additional 3000-strong deployment. 
    Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon has ordered a review of the troop levels required to support British operations in the country amid continuing resistance to US and British occupation forces.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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