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U-2 Makes Second Flight Over Iraq

Iraq allowed a second flight by an American U-2 spy plane, but a U.N. spokesman said Saddam Hussein's government was still not cooperating fully with inspections.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said the plane spent six hours and 20 minutes over Iraq's territory Thursday searching for evidence of banned weapons.

Iraq allowed the first U-2 flight Monday after resisting such flights since the inspection program resumed in November. Iraq had insisted that U.S. and British planes suspend patrols in the "no-fly" zones during U-2 missions but relented as pressure mounted to display more cooperation with the inspection program.

The Iraqis also met a key U.N. demand by submitting a list of people reportedly involved in the destruction of banned weapons, according to Ewen Buchanan, spokesman for chief inspector Hans Blix.

Iraq's recent moves appear aimed at convincing the United Nations that it is going along with inspections as President Bush, backed by Britain, tries to rally support for military action to disarm Saddam.

However, Buchanan said Iraq "needs to do more by way of cooperating, particularly on unresolved disarmament issues, which are clearly issues of substance."

The United States has insisted that Iraq's cooperation has not been in areas of "substance," especially in the fields of chemical and biological weaponry.

The United States and Britain dispute Iraq's claims that it no longer holds weapons of mass destruction or long-range missiles and have massed nearly 200,000 troops in the region to reinforce the U.S. war threat, despite widespread international opposition.

At Friday prayers at the Mother of All Battles Mosque -- which takes its name from Saddam's label for the 1991 Persian Gulf War -- preacher Abdul-Razzaq al-Sadi told worshippers that God would help Iraq triumph against U.S. and British forces.

"Oh God, support Iraq and its army and leadership. Oh God, make the Jews, Americans and British weak. Oh God, crush their forces, down their planes, sink their ships and shake the earth below their feet," he said.

Meanwhile, at a Baghdad church, the Rev. Pierre Whalon celebrated a Mass for peace. "War is always the worst possible thing to do, and every effort has to be made to avoid war and to make peace," he said.

The United States and Britain plan to offer a new Iraq-war resolution to the Security Council next week, a senior Washington official said. But they face an uphill battle in getting the nine votes needed for approval.

The latest list submitted by the Iraqis included names of people Baghdad said took part in the destruction of banned material from its biological and missile programs, Buchanan said Thursday.

Iraq had already submitted a list of 83 people who it said took part in the destruction of banned chemical weapons and materials.

"Since then, the Iraqis have provided lists of individuals involved in unilateral destruction of biological and missile items in the early 1990s," Buchanan said. "Those lists are being studied, and clearly might be potential names for interviews."

Iraq has claimed to have destroyed chemical and biological weapons as well as long-range missiles but lacks documents to prove it. Blix had said that if the documents are unavailable, the inspectors want to talk to people who carried out the destruction.

Iraq announced that a group of South African experts would arrive Sunday for a weeklong visit to help Baghdad with disarmament issues. South African President Thabo Mbeki said last week that the group would include those who led South Africa's voluntary dismantling of its nuclear weapons program in the 1990s.

Under the threat of war, Saddam met Thursday with top aides and military commanders to discuss "the preparations of our courageous armed forces and of the Iraqi people to confront the U.S. threats of aggression," the Iraqi News Agency reported.

"They also discussed ways to enhance Iraqis' capabilities ... enabling them to inflict defeat on the evil aggressors," the agency said.

For the sixth straight month, Iraqis received double food rations Thursday, part of preparations for a long war. Iraq has been giving rations to its people since 1990, when the United Nations imposed sanctions on the oil-rich country for its occupation of neighboring Kuwait.