U.S. Aviation Continues to Strike at Basra's Residential Areas Using Cassette Bombs - 25 March, 2003

American aviation delivered new strikes on the residential areas of Basra using cassette bombs, a correspondent of the Al-Jazeera TV channel of Qatar reported from Basra.

According to him, fierce artillery shelling of the city by the American and British troops continued all through the night.

The correspondent pointed out that situation with water in the city was close to disastrous, and there is no electricity in Basra. The townspeople have to take water from the Euphrates river.

A mass manifestation of Basra residents in support of Saddam Hussein was held in the city in the morning. Men wearing civil clothes went from the demonstration right to the scene of fighting, the TV channel reported.

Fierce fighting recommenced to the north, west and south of Basra on Tuesday.

As the correspondent reported, armour and artillery are used in combat.

A column of Iraqi tanks left the city to the south towards the Fao peninsula.

In his live coverage of events from the town of Umm Qasr in the south of Iraq, another correspondent of the TV channel reported that no shooting is heard in the city from the morning. He believes that all pockets of resistance have been quelled.

U.S. helicopters are making reconnaissance flights over the town and its environs.

The TV channel reported that the preparation for arrival of American and British ships with reinforcement is underway at the city port.

It is reported from Baghdad that there has not been a single air raid on the Iraqi capital over the past nine hours. They explain this fact by the sandstorm which entailed deterioration of visibility.