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Iraq: Daily bulletin - 4 April 2003

04-04-2003 Operational Update

Latest reports from ICRC staff in Baghdad and Basra. More than 3,000 POWs already registered. ICRC's "family links network – gulf 2003" available now from this website in Arabic and in English.

 GENERAL (3 April)


Repeated bombardments carried on day and night in Baghdad, with no let-up in the sound of explosions coming from outlying areas of the capital. The city's electricity supply has now been cut.

Following the destruction of a bridge on the main highway leading to the south of the country, the ICRC's staff in Baghdad are no longer able to assist victims in areas such as Hilla, Kerbala, Nasiriya and Najaf. As the military situation continues to change very fast, the ICRC's concern is growing over the fate of the civilian population caught up in fighting in these areas south of Baghdad.

 Prisoners of war (4 April)


Southern Iraq: the ICRC is continuing to visit and register Iraqi prisoners of war held by the coalition forces. So far more than 3,000 have been registered.

Northern Iraq: the ICRC visited and registered an Iraqi prisoner of war held by coalition forces.

 BAGHDAD (3 April)

 Medical assistance for hospitals  

With access to areas south of Baghdad blocked (see above), an ICRC operation to bring medical supp lies to Al-Hilla surgical hospital (60 km from Baghdad) was cancelled. Medical items were therefore unloaded again in Baghdad despite the desperate needs of the war-wounded in Hilla.

In Baghdad itself, the ICRC supplied 500 blankets to Al-Yarmouk hospital, as the number of admissions continued to rise.


The ICRC started to overhaul sewage-lifting pumps at Adnan surgical hospital at the Medical city. The production of drinking water continued (7,250 one-litre bags) as well as the maintenance of the ICRC's water line unit. Repairs to the water and power works at three main hospitals (Al-Kindi, Al-Kharh and Al-Numan) were completed.

Elsewhere in Baghdad governorate the ICRC carried out surveys, noting urgent needs for access to potable water for hospitalized patients and the civilian population as a whole. Indeed, disruption of power from the national electricity grid is having a serious knock-on effect on the water supplies in major towns such as Ramadi, Maymoudiyah and Al-Husseiniya. The ICRC provided 7,500 one-litre water bags to Maymoudiyah hospital.


 Medical assistance for hospitals (4 April)

A first humanitarian cross-line ICRC convoy left Kuwait this morning and arrived at Basra hospitals. The two truckloads of medical supplies (i.v. fluid, suture materials and surgical equipment) will benefit 100 hospitalized patients. Water bladders and 600 blankets, also brought with the convoy, are currently being distributed. This ICRC convoy has been organized with the full cooperation of all warring parties.

 Water (3 April)

The ICRC continued to truck supplementary drinking water to the three main hospitals of Basra, while water tankers were used to provide safe water to locations in Al-Zubayr district.


 Available now:  


Family Links Network: an ICRC online service has been activated to help people trying to locate relatives as a consequence of the current conflict in Iraq. Available in English and in Arabic: