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Iraqi troops laced the sky over Baghdad with anti-aircraft fire Tuesday, but there was no indication of a new U.S. attack, and an Iraqi official said the gunners might have fired on one of their own planes by mistake.

The shooting underscored the tension gripping Baghdad since Sunday's U.S. missile attack on the Iraqi intelligence headquarters, which killed eight civilians. Government-controlled news media warned Tuesday of a showdown with the United States.An Iraqi Information Ministry official, reached by telephone from Amman, Jordan, said there were reports an Iraqi reconnaissance plane or a fighter jet had been hit by Tuesday's anti-aircraft fire. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that report had not been confirmed.

Other Information Ministry officials said the shooting could be heard throughout the city in the early afternoon.

U.S. officials in Washington had no comment on the incident.

American warships fired cruise missiles Sunday at the Iraqi intelligence center to punish Iraq for allegedly sending bombers to try to assassinate former President George Bush during a visit to Kuwait in April.

The Los Angeles Times said Tuesday that American intelligence concluded President Saddam Hussein ordered the plot. The Times quoted unidentified senior government officials as saying the evidence of Saddam's involvement was circumstantial but compelling.

"The thought is that clearly this kind of operation could not have taken place without the knowledge of and acquiescence of Saddam Hussein," the official said.

U.S. analysts said they doubted Saddam's ability to carry out terrorism suffered more than a temporary setback from Sunday's missile attack.

"You knock down their buildings, they just rebuild," said David Kay, who headed a U.N. weapons team that inspected Iraq's nuclear program after the 1991 gulf war.

Iraq has vowed to retaliate, and the United States has warned it will respond in kind if Saddam's military takes any such action.

The Iraqi media Tuesday kept up Saddam's defiant line and told Iraqis to prepare for a new, long confrontation.

The Defense Ministry's newspaper Qadis-siyah said Iraq ought to strike hard not only against "the United States, but also Israeli, Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti targets all over the world."

The government daily Al-Jomhuriya said President Clinton ordered the attack "to compensate for the bankruptcy of his domestic and foreign policies after he failed to remedy the economic situation at home and ran into great trouble in Somalia."

In Kuwait, a security police officer testified Monday that an Iraqi agent was ordered to detonate a car bomb in Kuwait City if he failed to use it to kill Bush.

The officer, who may not be identified under court regulations, was testifying on the third day of a trial of 11 Iraqis and three Kuwaitis charged with involvement in the plot. Iraq says it is a fabrication of the Kuwaiti government.

Two defendants have admitted involvement in a plot. The rest have denied any part in it.

"If you can't blow it up at Kuwait University, blow it up in Fahd al-Salem Street," a defendant quoted one of his superiors as saying, the officer told the state security court. The street is a major thoroughfare.

Ten of the 14 suspects are accused of plotting to kill Bush, and two are accused of being accomplices - both crimes punishable by death. A further two are accused of working with some of the defendants in illegally procuring liquor.