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Red Cross: Hospital and Red Crescent office damaged

No casualties; patients had been transferred

No one was hurt when coalition bombing damaged this Baghdad maternity hospital, the Red Cross says.
No one was hurt when coalition bombing damaged this Baghdad maternity hospital, the Red Cross says.

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Coalition bombing Wednesday damaged a maternity hospital and the offices of the Iraqi Red Crescent, but caused no casualties, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

After hearing explosions in Baghdad during the morning, the ICRC sent a team to investigate what had been hit, ICRC spokesman Roland Huguenin-Benjamin said.

The team determined that the blast had occurred across the street from the buildings -- windows were shattered, ceilings had fallen in and cars parked in front of the buildings were damaged, he said.

Patients had been discharged from the maternity hospital or transferred to other hospitals before the beginning of the war because the area was considered to be insecure, he said, and the Red Crescent office was also unoccupied at the time of the bombing.

"It was not a direct hit and, mercifully, there were no staff members indoors when it happened, so there are no casualties," he said.

That was not the case Tuesday, when Huguenin-Benjamin said he visited a hospital about 60 miles south of Baghdad where doctors had been overwhelmed with civilian casualties.

"There were lots and lots of dead bodies that were practically dismembered by the violence of the explosion they had been subjected to," he said. "This was a horrific sight."

In a written statement, U.S. Central Command said it was looking into the report, but had not confirmed it. "Coalition forces target only legitimate military targets and go to great lengths to minimize civilian casualties and damage to civilian facilities," the statement said.


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