Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Diplomats injured in attack on convoy evacuating Russia's Baghdad envoy
'A Russian journalist traveling with the group, Rossiya's correspondent Alexander Minakov, said US forces initiated the shooting. Minakov said: "As we left the city (Baghdad) we passed through Iraqi forces who suddenly came under fierce fire. Shells exploded 50 to 70 metres (yards) from us followed by automatic arms fire. "I am 100 percent sure the Americans were the first to open fire," he continued: "The Iraqis obviously started shooting back and we were caught in a crossfire," the reporter added.

'"The first three cars full of diplomats came under machine gun fire," Minakov reported: "The ambassador was lucky because a bullet went through the windscreen between the driver and him." Minakov said they later approached US armoured vehicles, which ignored their request for medical assistance.'

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