Sunday, March 23, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

US strike kills 45

Halabja (Iraq), March 22
The US missile strikes against Islamists in northern Iraq early today had also hit the base of a mainstream Islamic party, killing at least 45 persons, Kurdish officials and fleeing locals told the AFP.

Officials from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), an ally of Washington, said a Komala Islami Kurdistan (Islamic Society of Kurdistan) base near here at Khormal had also been targeted during the overnight blitz.

“A Komala office was hit. I saw at least 12 bodies and there were more dead under the rubble,” a fleeing local, Saleh Ali said.

An official from a local moderate Islamic group, the Islamic Movement of Iraqi Kurdistan (IMIK), said he had seen at least 45 bodies from a missile strike on another Komala office.

“Near Khormal is another Komala office that was destroyed. There were 45 persons inside and all of them were killed,” said the IMIK’s Kamal Haji Ali. Other sources from the PUK, the IMIK and fleeing locals put the number of Komala dead at between 50 and 100. They said the injured had been taken over the border to Iran for treatment. AFPBack

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