Iraq: Two Killed, Nine Injured in U.S., British Air Raid

U.S. and British fighters bombed a site in Iraq's southern no-fly zone on Monday, and the Iraqi News Agency reported that two people were killed and nine others injured.

The agency said the victims were civilians but gave no further details.

The U.S. Central Command said allied aircraft bombed an Iraqi surface-to-air missile system after Iraqi forces moved it into the southern restricted area known as the "no-fly zone."

Coalition forces targeted precision-guided weapons at a military mobile SAM system near Basra, about 245 miles southeast of the capital, Baghdad, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

The action was taken because the mere presence of the weapon system "was a threat to coalition aircraft," the statement said. The statement did not mention any casualties.

It was the 14th day this year of bombing by the U.S.-British coalition that has been monitoring two no-fly zones in southern and northern Iraq since 1991.

Iraqi forces regularly shoot at allied aircraft patrolling the southern no-fly zones that Washington and London say are designed to protect Shiite Muslims and Kurds respectively.

Simultaneous rebellions by both communities after the 1991 Gulf War were quashed by President Saddam Hussein's army.

The last airstrike in the south was on Saturday, when coalition aircraft targeted an Iraqi military mobile command and control facility near Al Kut, approximately 95 miles southeast of Baghdad.