'We are expecting the worst of Clinton because he has no humanitarian principles'

First wave of attacks reportedly cost two lives and caused severe damage

5.30pm update by staff and agencies
Thursday December 17, 1998

As the second wave of airstrikes on Iraq began this afternoon, Pentagon officials reported "severe damage" to intended targets after the first missile attack, while a Baghdad doctor said two people had been killed and 30 wounded.

Hazim el-Nasri, the senior doctor at the al-Yarmouk Hospital in the Iraqi capital, said the wounded had mostly suffered mostly burns to the face, hands and legs. He said the full casualty toll was not known, and there has been no official word yet.

A visiting Russian politician, Vladimir Kostyutkin, was among those injured in the US and British strikes on Baghdad, Russia's foreign minister said today.

In the streets of Baghdad, residents lined up at petrol stations to stock up on fuel, signalling that more attacks are anticipated.

"We are expecting the worst of Clinton because we have discovered that he has no humanitarian principles," said Riad Mamdouh al-Samarai, aged 36, as he stood at one station.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein visited some of the bomb sites today, including the house of his youngest daughter Hala, Baghdad Radio reported. Hala was safe but the house was demolished, the radio said.

Iraqi officials took foreign reporters to Karada, a commercial and residential district of Baghdad, where a missile had landed. The blast burst water mains, flooding a one-mile stretch of a street.

Karada is across the Tigris River from the Old Presidential Complex, but it was not clear if the palace was damaged.

At least one missile fell in an area near President Saddam's biggest palace in Baghdad and one stray missile hit an Iranian city, Tehran radio reported.

Witnesses said another missile landed in the neighbourhood of al-Adil, about one mile from Abu Ghraib, where a sprawling military camp and radio relay stations are located.

Both of Iraq's television stations shut down Thursday afternoon, but one resumed broadcasting later. Three of the four official radio stations were off the air. It was not clear whether they were destroyed.

The US Defence Secretary William Cohen said that preliminary assessments showed the attacks had inflicted "severe damage to some targets".  

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ad inflicted "severe damage to some targets".  

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