After two days of limited action in Iraq, U.S. and coalition troops entered the predicted "shock and awe" phase of the war Friday. Shaken by a massive air campaign, parts of Baghdad with government targets were left battered and aflame. Iraq's information minister said Saturday that 250 civilians were injured. Coalition troops pushed one-third of the way to Baghdad.
Among other national and international developments:
American officials do not know if Wednesday's attack on a Baghdad bunker hit their real target — Saddam Hussein; reports indicate he may have at least been wounded. They do believe the bombing disrupted communications with military units throughout Iraq.
Two British Navy helicopters collided over the Persian Gulf Saturday morning; seven crew members are missing. In southern Iraq two U.S. Marines died in combat Friday. Earlier, eight British and four U.S. Marines died when their helicopter crashed south of Umm Qasr. No hostile fire had been reported.
Hordes of Iraqi soldiers — including an entire division of 8,000 men and some 200 tanks — surrendered to coalition forces in southern Iraq.
Southern oil fields
U.S. and British commandos captured many key facilities in Iraq's southern oil fields, saving them from possible sabotage and ensuring their use for the country's postwar reconstruction.
In western Iraq near the border with Jordan, U.S. forces seized two airfields, known as H-2 and H-3.
In the north, explosions were reported near the cities of Mosul and Kirkuk. Oil fields are in the region.
After delays and see-saw negotiations, Turkey's government finally agreed to open its airspace to U.S. warplanes. Meanwhile, there were reports late Friday that Turkey had moved 1,000 troops into northern Iraq to bolster its border presence in an area dominated by ethnic Kurds, who might try to create an independent state.
Iraq continued firing missiles into Kuwait. The latest — identified by the Kuwaiti military as a banned al-Fatah missile — was shot down by Patriot missiles.
Anti-war demonstrations continued around the world. In a clash with demonstrators outside the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, an exchange of gunfire killed three people and injured dozens. A "die-in" was held in downtown Salt Lake City.
On Wall Street, stocks soared. Combined with strong advances over the past few days, Friday's 235-point surge pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its best weekly performance since 1982.
Two school districts reluctant to show Gov. Mike Leavitt's televised war messages to schoolchildren. Hill Air Force Base mechanics keep F-16s ready for combat.
Contributing: AP, New York Times News Service, Knight Ridder Newspapers