BAGHDAD, IRAQ, FEB. 1 -- At least five ground-hugging Tomahawk missiles struck this embattled city today in an hour-long barrage during which two of the missiles, or fragments of them, crashed into residential neighborhoods.
Officials said several people were killed or wounded, but exact figures were not available, Associated Press correspondent Salah Nasrawi reported.
A correspondent for the British Independent Television Network, in a report cleared by Iraqi censors, said one or two of the missiles were shot down by Iraqi ground defenses and crashed into residential areas.
The missile attacks came as Baghdad residents struggled to cope with the effects of more than two weeks of war, including gasoline and electricity shortages and heavy rationing of water, Reuter correspondent Bernd Debussmann reported.
The first area to be hit in today's missile barrage was the eastern Baghdad district of Karrada. The home of an Iraqi merchant, Razzak Salman, was leveled, starting a fire. By the time reporters arrived, Civil Defense teams had taken away most of the casualties.
Reporters saw four victims from the blast, including a boy 6 to 8 years old, being put into ambulances. Their condition could not be determined.
Salman, in his early 50s, screamed hysterically. Carrying an apparently unharmed infant, he cried: "It was so powerful that my entire house is gone! Collapsed!" He then waved reporters away.
In the nearby Masbah district, several houses were destroyed by the second Tomahawk attack of the day. It crashed less than 1,500 feet from the abandoned U.S. Embassy compound.
There was no indication of anything of military significance around the destroyed houses journalists were taken to see. "This is just bombing. There are no government buildings around here," Hashem Jassem, a Karada resident, told Patrick Cockburn of the British newspaper The Independent.
The Tomahawk is said to be capable of hitting its target to within 100 feet. The missiles that hit Baghdad were among the 19 fired today from warships in the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea, a Pentagon official said. The version used against Iraq can fly about 800 miles and carried 1,000-pound warheads. Its small size and computerized guidance system allow it to fly undetected at 600 mph at a height of 200 feet.
At least 11 persons -- including six children -- who were injured in today's attacks were treated at two different hospitals today, Reuter reported. One of them, aged 12, was hit by shrapnel that pierced his back and came to rest in his abdomen, according to physician Zaku Ghazi.
A woman who said her two brothers were injured in the explosion shouted at Western reporters who tried to interview her. "Is this Western justice?" Suha Turehi asked, pointing to the rubble of her single-story house. "Is this Western civilization? You are treating us like red Indians. Go away! Go away!"
The missile apparently caused no damage to the U.S. Embassy. The last group of American diplomats left Iraq on Jan. 12, five days before the U.S.-led allies began their offensive to drive Iraq forces out of Kuwait.
The intensive allied bombing since then has left the Iraqi capital with no regular electrical power and little water. There is so little gasoline that some motorists spend the night in front of gas stations, wrapped in blankets against the cold, to get an early place in line.
By the time gas stations open in the morning, up to 400 cars are waiting their turn to buy the recently introduced ration of seven gallons for 15 days.
Under a water-rationing program, the two halves of the city, split by the Tigris River, receive water three days at a time.
Food still appears to be plentiful, with fruit and vegetables on sale in shops that are still operating.
Also today, official Baghdad radio said Iraq would treat captured allied pilots as war criminals because of civilian casualties caused by their raids.
Allied warplanes, the radio said, have strafed pedestrians, killing "very large numbers of women, children and old people in extreme cold blood. The crimes of the U.S., British, French and Italian pilots should be viewed as war crimes that violate the laws and foundations of war, particularly the laws and conventions that call for safeguarding civilians at times of war," it said.
"The behavior of those pilots is very far away from the honor and moralities of the military code," the radio said. "They should be dealt with on the basis of their being killers of defenseless children and women and old people, not as soldiers waging a war against other soldiers."