Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Report: Mortar attack closes Basra airport traffic

Left: Basra Airport. Used also as a British base, the airport at Basra -- with a 13,000 foot German-built runway -- has seen increasing traffic since commercial flights from Baghdad were resumed in 2005. Curently dozens of commercial flights land daily.

Basra, Apr 17, (VOI) - Director of Basra International Airport said that the airport stopped flights on Tuesday for security reasons, while eyewitnesses said that the British base in the airport was rocketed.

"Flights were halted at the airport on Tuesday afternoon for security reasons," Director of Basra airport Razzaq Qassem told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) over the phone.

However, eyewitnesses living near the airport said that it was attacked by Katyusha rockets.

"One of the rockets landed on the runway and caused some damage," Nedal Jaber, a technician at the airport, told (VOI).

The British base in the airport is considered the largest British base in Iraq.
About 7,100 British soldiers are currently deployed in Iraq, mainly in and around Basra.

The base has been attacked by mortar shells and Katyusha rockets on a daily basis

Read the rest at VOI