Monday, April 07, 2003

Russia furious after diplomatic convoy shot upon by American forces
'Russia's Foreign Ministry summoned U.S. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow and his Iraqi counterpart, Abbas Khalaf, Sunday demanding explanations for the shooting incident near Baghdad that left at least five people wounded as a group of Russian diplomats, including the envoy, and journalists headed for Syria.

'Twenty-three people, including Ambassador Vladimir Titarenko, were traveling in the convoy that came under fire twice, 8 and 15 miles from Baghdad respectively, en route to the Iraqi-Syrian border. The motorcade left Baghdad at 10:30 a.m. Sunday and traveled along the previously agreed route, the state-controlled RTR television network reported. According to the network, Russian diplomats had duly informed U.S. military officials Saturday about their travel plans. Russia's mission in Baghdad communicated to the U.S. command the license plate information of all vehicles in the convoy. The U.S. military in turn was expected to provide the so-called "green corridor," ensuring safety of the convoy on its way toward Syria. However, the convoy was attacked by a group of soldiers suspected to be members of a U.S. intelligence platoon'

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