News In Brief

Iraq calls a week's halt to bombing raids on Iran

A one-week halt to bombing raids on Iranian cities was announced by the Iraqi news agency Tuesday, but it added that this would happen only if Iran stopped bombing towns. Iran vowed to escalate attacks on Iraqi civilian targets.

Iran has drawn up contingency plans to prepare for ''the probable closure'' of the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf, the Iranian national news agency, Irna, reported a government minister as having said.

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In Baghdad, an Iraqi military spokesman said Iraq attacked six Iranian towns Monday night and early Tuesday in retaliation for Iran's shelling of Iraqi towns Monday. Iran, however, said Iraq had launched long-range missile attacks overnight on three Iranian towns, killing 30 people and injuring 65. Iraq said it would destroy ships entering the Iranian ports of Bandar Khomeini and Bushehr.

Iran made a thrust into northeast Iraq Monday which it described as the start of a new offensive in the protracted Gulf war.

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