03/20 - Blasts, anti-aircraft fire rock Baghdad - East Valley Tribune: Nation / World

03/20 - Blasts, anti-aircraft fire rock Baghdad

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Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2003 10:53 am | Updated: 1:48 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Heavy detonations and the crackle of anti-aircraft fire were heard Thursday night in Baghdad.

Red and white tracers streaked across the night sky and the flash of explosions could be seen on the horizon. There were no major blasts in the center of the capital.

Anti-aircraft fire was constant as the explosions rumbled in the distance.

As the attack continued, explosions could be heard from the west side of the Tigris River where at least two of Saddam Hussein's palaces and the intelligence headquarters are located.

Explosions appeared to be closer to the heart of the city.

A huge plume of smoke could be seen from the west bank of the Tigris in central Baghdad but it could not be determined what had been hit.

Meanwhile, F-14 and F-18 jets took off from the USS Theodore Roosevelt took off from the carrier in the eastern Mediterranean, armed with missiles and bombs.

It was not known whether they were headed for Baghdad or other targets throughout the country.

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