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Britain Unloads 200 Tons of Relief Supplies at Umm Qasr - 2003-03-30

With the arrival in southern Iraq of the British ship, Sir Galahad, humanitarian aid has begun flowing into the war-stricken region. However, coalition officials said large-scale aid distributions will only begin when security has improved.

British forces spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Ronnie McCourt said the British ship Sir Galahad has finished unloading 200 tons of relief supplies at the port of Umm Qasr, and a pipeline is now bringing water from Kuwait to people in southern Iraq.

Relief workers in Kuwait say they are ready to send a convoy of humanitarian supplies overland into Iraq. But Colonel McCourt said this will only happen when the area is secure.

"We're not going to let any convoy go through unescorted into a dangerous area. We don't want to shoot ourselves in the foot, invite innocent civilian aid workers in and find they get ambushed or attacked," he said.

Colonel McCourt said parts of southern Iraq are still not secure, but British forces have captured five Iraqi army officers, including a general during an operation in Basra.