|Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-03-28
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HeadlinesWar in Iraq, day nine. U.S. is sending 100,000 reinforcements to Iraq, doubling its forces on the ground, next month,
Iraq sees Baghdad encircled by U.S. troops in five to 10 days; U.S. says forces bracing for big battle with Republican Guard near Kerbala en route to capital,
Hundreds of jubilant Kurdish 'peshmerga' fighters today poured across what had, just hours before, been an Iraqi frontline, saying Iraqi forces had retreated towards the oil hub of Kirkuk,
 Iraq SnapshotHere's a snapshot of day 9 of the war in Iraq:
 QUOTESBush: "The Iraqi people have got to know...that they will be liberated and Saddam Hussein will be removed, no matter how long it takes."
Blair: "I've always known that the war was likely to have tough and difficult moments, and I do point out again we're a week into this and an awful lot has been achieved."
 MILITARY ACTION
 BAGHDADExplosions rock Baghdad early on Friday after night of bombardment which the U.S. military says hit communications and command facilities. Other overnight blasts are heard on the outskirts of the city, where Saddam's elite troops are believed to be stationed. Iraq says it expects the capital to be encircled within five to 10 days.
 NORTHKurdish fighters cross the Iraqi frontline for the first time after about 1,000 U.S. paratroopers parachuted into Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq on Wednesday night.
 SOUTHMilitary sources say U.S. brigades en route to the capital battle around 1,500 Iraqis overnight near Najaf.
U.S. troops gear up for intense battle with the Republican Guard near Shi'ite holy city Kerbala, about 110 kilometers, south of the Iraqi capital, within the next 48-72 hours.
Britain says it destroyed 14 tanks breaking out of Iraq's second city Basra, where U.S.-led forces are still locked in fighting with Iraqi troops.
 Iraq BaghdadU.S. and British warplanes and cruise missiles pounded Baghdad today, the Muslim holy day, in what residents said was some of the heaviest bombing in nine days of war.
The United States military said one of its B-2 Spirit "stealth" bombers, using precision-guided missiles, knocked out a major link in Iraq's communications network in pre-dawn raids over the city.
The thud of explosions and rattle of anti-aircraft fire continued beyond midday.
A large fire blazed on the west bank of the Tigris river and thick, billowing smoke rose on the horizon after dozens of blasts in the eastern and southern fringes of the capital.
Iraqi defence positions spat anti-aircraft fire above the rooftops as U.S. missiles hit government offices, including the ministries of information, planning and foreign affairs.
The U.S. military said two precision-guided missiles from one of its bat-wing, radar-evading B-2 stealth bombers had taken out a key communications tower on the east bank of the Tigris.
The raids knocked out many telephone lines, some of the first bombing damage to civilian infrastructure.
 Iraq KurdsHundreds of jubilant Kurdish 'peshmerga' fighters today poured across what had, just hours before, been an Iraqi frontline, saying Iraqi forces had retreated towards the oil hub of Kirkuk.
Scouts returning from a night in the hills above Chamchamal, a town in the northern Iraqi enclave controlled by Kurds opposed to President Saddam Hussein, said they had met no resistance and believed government forces had fled.
U.S. warplanes last pounded the hilltops above Chamchamal on Wednesday, and Iraqis left behind mortars and machineguns in their bunker positions.
Oil-rich Kirkuk, 35 kilometers west of Chamchamal, is of huge strategic importance in the U.S.-led assault to overthrow Saddam.
The breakthrough at Chamchamal was the first such development along the frontline separating government troops from Kurdish fighters protecting the northern enclave.
Reporters were allowed to drive around 2 kilometers across the frontline on to heights overlooking Chamchamal.
The advance followed increasing U.S. activity in the region in what is seen as the start of a new northern front.
U.S. paratroopers landed in northern Iraq overnight, with Washington putting the force at 1,000-strong from the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
 Iraq tollIraq said that U.S.- British bombing killed 49 civilians overnight in the central city of Najaf and another seven in Baghdad.
Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf said the raids also wounded 250 people in both cities.
He told a Baghdad news conference that 116 people had died and 695 had been injured in the southern city of Basra since the war began.
He also said Iraqi forces destroyed 33 tanks and armoured cars and killed four U.S.-British troops on Thursday in fighting in southern Iraq.
A U.S. officer said American brigades advancing on Baghdad battled around 1,500 Iraqis overnight near Najaf, 160 kilometers south of the capital. Reuters reporter Luke Baker, near Najaf, said U.S. forces used tanks and heavy artillery.
 Mosfiloti tragedyA nine year old boy was tragically killed yesterday afternoon, after falling off from the terrace of his own home, in the Larnaca district village of Mosfiloti. Michalis Petrou was critically injured by the fall and died nine hours later in hospital, while his own grandmother was also fighting for her life. According to a witness, Michalis fell six meters to the ground, when he attempted to climb town the terrace in Tarzan style, with a rope that he had fastened to the banister with a plastic bottle. Michalis was initially taken to the Larnaca General Hospital and later at the intensive care unit of the Nicosia General Hospital, where he died at two thirty in the morning. A few hours earlier, his grandmother died. The funeral of Michalis, will be held tomorrow at the Ayia Marina church in Morfiloti. His grandmother was buried this morning in Avgorou.
 Tziale donorA compatible bone marrow donor has finally been found for five year old Turkish-cypriot girl, Tziale Sakaoglou, whose case prompted thousands of both Greek and Turkish cypriots to donate blood for many days at the Ledra Palace hotel in Nicosia. Tziales' family was informed on the good news by the International Bone Marrow Bank in the United States. The identity of the donor has not yet been made public. Little Tzale, whose parents are from Limassol, is now living in occupied Morphou.
 IakovouForeign minister Yiorgos Iakovou expressed the view that the Security Council will approve a new resolution on the Cyprus issue, in light of the report of the UN Secretary General on the failure of settlement talks at The Hague. Iakovou made his statements following meetings with the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the Security Council, which was briefed orally, yesterday, by the UN chiefs' advisor on the Cyprus issue Alvaro De Soto, on the failure of the talks. Mr Iakovou noted that Nicosia expectes the approval of a resolution that will hold the Turkish cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and Turkey responsible for the deadlock. He added that there is no possibility for the Anan plan to be incorporated into the Treaty of Accession to the EU, which will be signed on the 16th of April in Athens.
 Japan satJapan today sent two spy satellites into orbit, infuriating heavily armed neighbour North Korea, whose firing of a missile over Japan in 1998 prompted the move.
Pyongyang denounced the launch, which will give Tokyo its first independent opportunity to scrutinise North Korea from space, as a "hostile act" that could set off an arms race in the region.
The satellite deployment was planned after Pyongyang's 1998 firing of a Taepodong ballistic missile, which passed over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean.
North Korea said that the missile launch was aimed at putting a satellite of its own into orbit.
Japan remains nervous after North Korea's recent launch of two short-range missiles, although the Defence Ministry said there was no sign that another launch was imminent.
CIA Director George Tenet told a U.S. Senate committee last month that North Korea had a missile that could reach the U.S. West Coast, but a senior U.S. defence official said the weapon had not been tested.
 WeatherLight showers are expected this afternoon. Winds will be light to moderate, northeasterly to southeasterly, force three to four, over slight to moderate seas. Temperatures will reach 18 degrees inland, 20 on the coasts and nine on the mountains. Tonight it will remain mainly fine, with patchy clouds forming mainly in coastal areas. Winds will be light northwesterly to northeasterly, force two to three over slight seas. Temperatures will fall to five degrees inland, seven on the coasts and one on the mountains. The depth of snow on mount Olympus is 70 centimetres, with 50 in Troodos square.