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Early Falklands casualty: truth

Truth has been the big loser so far in the Anglo-Argentine conflict in the South Atlantic.

Day after day, during the past two weeks, details of battle action between Argentine and British forces have oscillated wildly - with Buenos Aires saying one thing, London, another.

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Take this past Sunday, for example. Both sides agree that British Sea Harrier jets attacked the Argentine fishing boat Narwal within the 200-mile exclusion zone set up by Britain around the Falkland Islands.

From then on Buenos Aires and London reports differ markedly. The Argentine military high command reported that the crew of the Narwal, after the attack, took to lifeboats. Numerous members of the crew were injured, and the ship sunk.

But now take London's account of the incident: After the initial Sea Harrier attack on the ship, the crew did, in fact, take to lifeboats. But all were rescued by British helicopters. The wounded were in infirmaries aboard ships of the British navy. One crew member died. The Narwal, say the British, was not sunk, but was captured by the Royal Navy.

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