2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Oil field clashes force many from Iraq NEWS IN BRIEF
KUWAIT CITY (AP) - Fighting that just drove up, waving a white
around the southern Iraq oil fields that flag. They just surrendered to us," ISTANBUL, Turkey
U.S.-led forces had previously thought Krause said. " Snrotests Turkish intervention in Iraq
were secure has driven out civilian "A little while later, five more U.S. p
firefighters trvinu to mt nt the nil P)WQ dinv Bn ti inaR~~hC &t; y .",s
gic11Ll Uy1 g wPULU one e11
well blazes, the top firefighter said
"It's not nearly as safe as they said it
was," said Brian Krause, vice president
and senior blowout specialist for Hous-
ton-based Boots and Coots. "We're
kind of sitting ducks out there."
The Iraqi resistance in the oil fields
challenges U.S. claims that southern
Iraq is quickly falling under allied
U.S. Marines declared the southern
Rumeila oil fields in Iraq unsafe for
journalists to visit yesterday, forcing
the cancellation of a trip under Marine
escort intended to give the media a
firsthand view of the blazing wells.
U.S. Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks said
Iraqis set demolitions on some well
heads and detonated them, but only
seven fires were burning in a field
with 500 well heads. Speaking at the
U.S. Central Command's Gulf post in
Qatar, Brooks said that was "a very
important story for the future of Iraq."
Krause said he was told that Iraqi
fighters dressed as civilians had
clashed with British forces near the oil
fields Sunday night, forcing the evacu-
ation of his firefighting team.
"Yesterday, we captured five POWs
s s arove up to some rt ush sot-
diers waving a white flag, and when
they got close they opened up with
Lynn Wray, a spokeswoman for the
British military, said she could not
confirm the fighting or location, but
said two British soldiers were missing
in southern Iraq.
U.S. military officials said armed
Iraqis in civilian clothes, some of them
possibly using women and children as
screens, were operating in the southern
Krause was meeting with U.S. mili-
tary officials yesterday in Kuwait to
discuss tighter security arrangements
so his men can pursue the dangerous
work of putting out the fires.
Securing the Rumeila oil fields was
one of the top priorities of commanders
of the invasion into Iraq; military plan-
ners want to use Iraq's oil output to
finance the rebuilding of the country.
British forces initially secured the
area with nearly all the key infrastruc-
Krause said putting out the fires
appears to be a straightforward job,
easier than extinguishing the 700 well
fires set by Iraqi forces fleeing Kuwait
in the 1991 Gulf War.
Um Khaled covers her face with a handkerchief to protect herself
from smoke as she walks from the market in a Baghdad suburb.
"I don't see them as too difficult,"
Krause said. "The biggest challenge
now is getting in enough water and
A team of 25 Kuwaiti firefighters
operating independently across-the
border extinguished one of seven wells
known to be burning yesterday, said
Sheik Talal Al Sabah, spokesman for
Kuwait's oil industry.
"Al-Rumeila is a large field," Al
Sabah said. "In the area where the
Kuwaiti team is working, it is safe."
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The Americans and Kuwaitis plan to
meet today to coordinate their efforts
and get water and fire teams to wells
burning deeper inside Iraq. The far-
thest one is about 12 miles from the
"They've got water. We need water,"
Krause said he heard that Iraqis
blew up pipelines 20 miles inside the
country during the past day. U.S. mili-
tary officials could not immediately
confirm the report.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
Supreme Court rejected yesterday a case
that challenged how the government
spies on terror suspects in America, a
blow to people who say the administra-
tion has used the Sept. 11 terror attacks
to encroach on personal freedoms.
It was the first terrorism appeal to
reach the high court. The justices will
have other opportunities to hear cases
set in motion by Bush administration
efforts to give law enforcers latitude to
track and hold potential terrorists.
Issues that have inspired the court
challenges include government spying,
secret detentions, confidential deporta-
tion hearings, imprisonment of
wartime prisoners without lawyers and
access to suspected foreign terrorists
held at undisclosed overseas locations.
The administration has argued in
courts that national security justifies
aggressive terror-fighting strategy,
and judges have only limited authority
The Supreme Court refused yester-
day to be drawn into a dispute over the
boundaries of a post-Sept. 11, 2001,
law that gave the government broader
The American Civil Liberties
Union and other organizations wanted
the justices to consider when the gov-
ernment should be allowed to monitor
telephone conversations and e-mail,
then use the information to prosecute
the monitored person.
Continued from Page 1
1,500 sorties over Iraq yesterday. So
far, 80 percent of the bombs and mis-
siles used by the Air Force have been
guided by lasers, radar, satellites or
video cameras, a defense official said.
The Pentagon says the munitions are
highly accurate, but Iraq claimed that
252 civilians had been killed Sunday,
including 194 in Baghdad. It did not
give any figures for military deaths.
Asked about ground forces,
McChrystal said, "We have not gotten
into direct firefights with Republican
That seemed a matter of not much
The Army's 3rd Infantry Division
was within 50 miles of the capital, bat-
tling sandstorms more than Iraqi fire as
it neared the approaches to Baghdad.
Continued from Page 1
fiercest fighting, a hoped-for wel-
come from civilians had not materi-
alized, British spokesman Col. Chris
Coalition forces sent radio broad-
casts and leaflets to Basra to urge resi-
dents to oppose Saddam's militia from
inside the city, Vernon said. Comman-
ders have held off storming the city,
hoping its Iraqi defenders would sur-
render, but they have held firm.
Elsewhere yesterday, residents of the
border town of Safwan stoned a pass-
ing U.S. military convoy.
Saddam and his propaganda
machine have soared no effort in
Palestinian youth dies
in West Bank conflict
A Palestinian teenager was shot to
death yesterday during a clash with
Israeli soldiers on the West Bank as
troops searched houses on a routine
sweep for militants. Three other youths
were wounded, witnesses said.
Ahmed Abahreh, 15, was shot in the
head, according to doctors at Jenin Hos-
pital in the West Bank. Witnesses said
Abahreh was throwing stones at the sol-
diers. The army said he tossed a home-
made firebomb at troops.
Another youth was injured in the leg.
The army said a Palestinian was hurt
when a firebomb exploded in his hand
but it was unclear whether it was the
same boy. Two other Palestinians were
wounded when troops fired on them
after they climbed aboard an army vehi-
cle, the army said. Their condition was
The skirmishes came as troops dis-
mantled an illegal Jewish settlement near.
the West Bank city of Hebron.
Doctors find lead as
fear of disease grows
A mystery disease spread new fears
across Asia yesterday as Singapore
quarantined hundreds of people, and
Hong Kong and Vietnam reported
more deaths amid closed schools and
At the same time, scientists in Gene-
va and the United States said they
believe the cause of the flu-like ailment
that has stymied them for weeks could
A U.S. special envoy rushed back to Turkey but failed to reach agreement yes-
terday on Turkey's plans to send troops into northern Iraq over Washington's
Fearing friendly fire incidents with U.S. forces and clashes with Iraqi Kurds, the
United States opposes Turkish intervention. President Bush said Sunday his adminis-
tration had made clear that it expected the Turks to keep out of northern Iraq.
U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who was accompanied by U.S. Ambassador Robert
Pearson and American military officials in his meetings with Turkish leaders, said
afterward that no agreement had been reached. He pledged to hold more talks today.
Opposition to a Turkish intervention increased yesterday with Germany and
Belgium announcing that a Turkish incursion could force NATO to review its
mission to boost the country's defenses against a possible Iraqi attack. The coun-
tries said such a move would compromise the defensive basis of NATO's deploy-
ment of AWACS surveillance planes and other specialist units to Turkey.
The European Union also warned Turkey against entering northern Iraq. Such a
move could hurt Ankara's candidacy to join the union.
Even so, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed a possible Turk-
ish intervention yesterday with the country's military leader, Gen. Hilmi Ozkok.
Iraqi TV station broadcasts prisoners of war
Iraqi state television yesterday showed two men said to have been the U.S. crew
of an Apache helicopter forced down during heavy fighting in central Iraq.
Gen. Tommy Franks, the U.S. war commander, confirmed that one helicop-
ter did not return from its mission Sunday and that its two-man crew was
missing. The men were identified as Chief Warrant Officer Ronald Young Jr.,
26, of Lithia Springs, Ga., and Chief Warrant Officer David Williams, 30, of
If confirmed, the airmen would be the second set of POWs displayed by the
Iraqis in as many days. On Sunday, the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera carried
Iraqi television footage of five U.S. soldiers who were captured near An
Nasiriyah, a crossing point over the Euphrates River.
Unlike those soldiers, the men shown yesterday did not appear to be injured.
The two wore cream-colored pilots' overalls and did not speak to the camera but
appeared confused. They turned their heads and looked in different directions
while being filmed. One of the men sipped from a glass of water, looking wary
but not cowed.
be one of the viruses that causes the
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention said yesterday that evi-
dence is mounting the cause is a coron-
avirus, a bug that can cause colds.
CDC director Julie Gerberding, in
Atlanta, said a form of the virus unlike
any seen in humans before has been
found in the lungs and other tissue of
Furthermore, patients seem to develop
antibodies to the virus as they get sicker
with the pneumonia, Gerberding said.
Vote may rile out
peace in Chechnya
Russian officials declared yesterday
that the approval of a new constitution
by Chechnya's voters has completely
discredited the separatist cause, further
dimming hopes the Kremlin would
negotiate an end to the 3 1/2-year war.
The constitution, which confirms the
region's status as part of Russia, was
overwhelmingly approved in a referen-
The Kremlin had advertised the
referendum as the beginning of a
peace process for Chechnya, which
since 1994 has experienced two brutal
wars pitting Russian forces against
separatists and an interim period of
de facto independence marked by
Critics said no fair vote was possible
in a war and that the only path to peace
would be to negotiate with rebel leader
Aslan Maskhadov - an option Russian
officials previously ruled out.
-- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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