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|Friday, August 31, 2001, updated at 07:56(GMT+8)|
US Planes Bombs Iraqi Radar at Basra AirportUS.fighter jets launched another attack at a radar site at Basra airport in southern Iraq on Thursday in an apparent attempt to further disable Iraq's air defenses.
US defense officials, however, insisted that the attack, the third in the past week, was planned in advance and was not a direct retaliation to Iraq's downing of a US reconnaissance plane over Basra earlier this week.
In a brief statement, the Florida-based US Central Command said US aircraft used precision-guided bombs in the attack which was carried out at 1:30 p.m. EDT (1830 GMT).
The command, which controls US military operations in the gulf region, said the bombing was "in response to recent Iraqi hostile threats."
US officials disclosed that four US Air Force F-16 fighter jets participated in the action.
The Iraqi government claimed on Monday it shot down a US Predator unmanned spy plane over Basra. But the Pentagon said that it remained unclear whether the plane was shot down or crashed on its own due to technical malfunction.
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