Coalition airstrikes have battered Baghdad and other areas of Iraq in some of the most intense bombing in nine days of war, as U-S and British ground forces fought several battles.
Government buildings and positions of the Republican Guard were among the targets hit Friday, and reporters in Baghdad said it was the most intense attack on the Iraqi capital in a week.
US military officials say a B-2 bomber dropped two huge "bunker buster" bombs -- each weighing more than two-thousand kilograms -- to destroy a communications facility.
Iraq's information minister, Mohammed Saeed al Sahaf says coalition bombing has killed 75 civilians and wounded scores of others across the country over the past day, with the heaviest losses in Najaf. The casualty figures have not been confirmed.
Fighting on the ground was reported near Nasiriyah in southern Iraq, and Diwaniyah and Najaf in central Iraq. More U-S troops and equipment have arrived in northern Iraq, where the U-S military is opening a northern front.
British officers say Iraqi paramilitary forces in the besieged southern city of Basra fired on hundreds of civilians trying to flee. A British spokesman says British troops are trying to neutralize the Iraqi forces, and rescue civilians.
Meanwhile, the first ship bringing humanitarian aid to Iraq since the start of the US - led invasion arrived today in the southern port of Umm Qasr. The ship docked after mines were cleared from waters around the port, and after several days of fighting to clear out pockets of Iraqi resistance in Umm Qasr.