Iraqi forces in Basra fired mortars and machine guns Friday on a "couple of thousand" Iraqi civilians trying to leave the besieged city, British military officials said.
British forces on Thursday destroyed a column of Iraqi tanks trying to break out of the besieged southern city of Basra, coalition officials said.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday he believed there had been a limited uprising in Basra, backing up claims made by his country's military officers on the outskirts of the southern Iraqi city.
British forces have decided they will move against Iraqi tanks and fighters that have prevented them from entering the southern Iraqi city of Basra.
Even as U.S. and British forces continued to pound Iraqi positions along key bridges and defensive sites, reports emerged that coalition forces had seized the second largest Iraqi city Basra.
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