Originally Published: March 31, 2003 6:10 p.m.
The biggest bombs dropped on Baghdad so far — two 4,700-pound "bunker busters" — struck a communications tower today in an intense U.S. bombardment. In the south, British officers said Iraqi fighters defending the besieged city of Basra fired on hundreds of civilians trying to flee.
The British, who have encircled Basra, said their troops were prepared to rescue and aid any civilians wounded by the mortar and machine-gun fire from paramilitaries loyal to Saddam Hussein. "Here perhaps are the first pieces of evidence of Iraqi people trying to break free ... and clearly the militia don't want that," said Col. Chris Vernon, a British spokesman.
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