Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark returned from a two-day tour of Basra, a heavily bombed port city, and said Thursday that allied air raids had exceeded the United Nations' mandate.
``You don't have to bomb cities,' Clark said during a news conference in the garden of a Baghdad hotel. He contended that the allies have gone beyond the U.N. resolution that authorized force to expel Iraq from Kuwait.Clark, a longtime peace activist, is on a private peace mission to Iraq. He spoke after a night of intensive air strikes on Baghdad that Iraqi authorities said had killed 22 civilians and destroyed 10 homes.
In the raids, warplanes attacked the A'eamiya district of Baghdad, apparently aiming at a bridge over the Tigris River. The bridge was intact when reporters visited the area Thursday, but houses about 200 yards away had been hit.
Ra'ja Hamie, speaking from her hospital bed, said a rocket hit her house, killing her husband and three children and wounding two others.
Clark said the damage to residential areas was avoidable. He said he visited Basra on Tuesday and Wednesday and described ``a human and civilian tragedy.'
He said allied bombs had destroyed residential areas, hospitals, nightclubs, coffee shops, clinics and law offices.
A doctor in Baghdad said several thousand people had been killed and wounded by the bombings around Iraq, Clark said.