Iraq reported 21 deaths from allied air raids in southern and northern Iraq Monday, while dazed residents of Baghdad expressed outrage over a U.S. cruise missile attack on the capital.
The official Iraqi News Agency, in a report monitored in Cyprus, gave no details on the casualties in Monday's attacks - the third on Iraq in six days and the first daylight raids. U.S. officials said air-defense sites were struck.Local news media did not immediately announce the new attacks, and much of the city went about its business as usual. But in neighborhoods that the Iraqis said were hit by U.S. missiles Sunday, there was weeping and anti-American in-vec-tive.
"Kill Bush," said Fouzisalman al-Bandar, who said his neighbor, 70-year-old Buthena Kambaraga, was killed during a barrage of 30 U.S. Navy cruise missiles on the second anniversary of the start of the Persian Gulf War.
Their affluent neighborhood is about three miles from the attack's target, a manufacturing complex that Washington said was involved in nuclear weapons work. At least one house was destroyed, most had their window glass shattered and apparent missile fragments rested in one back yard.
The allies are trying to force Saddam Hussein to honor the U.N. resolutions that set the terms of his Persian Gulf War defeat. He has become increasingly defiant as President Bush's days in office wane, challenging "no fly" zones in the north and south, U.N. weapons inspections and the Kuwait border.
The newspaper Babel, published by Saddam's son Udai, called the Sunday night attack a crime and lashed out at Bush.
"George Bush wanted to end his black record and vindicate his defeat with a new bloodbath against the Iraqi people," the paper said.
Three Iraqis were reported killed and up to 30 wounded Sunday. Baghdad said raids on anti-aircraft batteries in southern Iraq last Wednesday killed 17 soldiers and two civilians and wounded 15 people.
In a defiant radio address late Sunday, Saddam called on Iraqis to "strike back" against the United States and said the "day of the battle has come." He called his country a "banner that will never bow."
The Iraqi News Agency said Saddam met Monday with his military commanders, including the defense minister, Maj. Gen. Ali Hassan al-Majid; the air force commander, Maj. Gen. Muzahem Saab Hassan; and a number of high-ranking air defense officers. No details of the meeting were given.
At the al-Rashid Hotel, where two people died Sunday night when the lobby and the courtyard were devastated by a missile explosion, a furious worker shouted, "Bush has blood on his hands!"
American officials said missiles were not aimed at the hotel but conceded a rocket could have come down off target. They also said falling anti-aircraft shells ormissiles could have caused damage on the ground.
A metal fragment that an Iraqi army photographer said was found in the rubble showed markings of a U.S. company that makes cruise missile engines.
An elaborate funeral cortege for the two hotel victims, including a military band, passed by the al-Rashid Monday. The coffins were draped in Iraqi flags.
One of the victims was a hotel receptionist identified only as Amira.
The 398-room, 14-story hotel was a scene of devastation this morning. A baby grand piano had fallen into the 10-foot-deep crater in the courtyard, furniture was shattered and room doors blown off their hinges as high as the third floor.
The escalation of violence had the Persian Gulf region on edge.
Air-raid sirens went off Monday in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, which allied warplanes are using in the campaign against Iraq, and in Kuwait City as rumors circulated that Iraq had fired a Scud missile.
Military and aviation officials in the region could not confirm any such attack. A Pentagon official said there was no indication from U.S. early warning satellites of any Scud missiles launched from Iraq.
The Iraqis fired dozens of Scuds at Saudi Arabia and Israel during the gulf war in 1991.
The allied attacks in Iraq Monday and Sunday came after Baghdad continued to balk on allowing U.N. inspectors free entry to continue destroying Iraq's weapons of mass destruction as mandated by the gulf war cease-fire accord.
Iraq also provoked the West in recent weeks by moving anti-aircraft missiles into the allied-patrolled "no-fly" zone in southern Iraq and by making several unauthorized forays into Kuwait to retrieve military materiel.
In Sunday's attack, U.S. Navy warships fired more than 30 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a complex of factories in the Baghdad suburb of Zaafaraniyeh.
Iraq's Information Ministry denied the plant had anything to do with nuclear work. But the White House and the U.N. atomic energy agency said the plant had been used to produce electromagnetic parts for enriching uranium so it could be used in nuclear weapons.
David Kyd, a spokesman for the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, said the facility was dormant. But David Kay, a former chief of U.N. inspection teams, told The Associated Press in London Monday that the plant contained machinery that the inspectors had been considering for destruction.