Sixty-nine Iraqi aircraft have flown into Iran since the Persian Gulf War erupted, Brig. Gen. Pat Stevens told a military briefing Monday.

He said the Iraqi planes consisted of 30 civil and military transports and 39 fighter-bombers. Twenty-three Iraqi planes had been destroyed on the ground by the allies.He said the allies had so far captured 109 prisoners of war.

Stevens said a U.S. Marine Corps Harrier jet was reported lost in combat Monday - the first allied plane lost in the past 72 hours.

The allies had flown 2,000 sorties in round-the-clock operations Monday, he added. Stevens denied that the allies were targeting civilians.

Asked about reports of civilian casualties in Iraq and occupied Kuwait, Stevens said: "We go out of our way to avoid that sort of thing."

He said he believed the allies were being "quite effective" in strikes against Iraq's Scud missile launchers. "We have seen a reduction in his ability to launch weapons of terrorism," he said.

At a later briefing, a Saudi Arabian officer said there had been small arms and artillery exchanges between Saudi border guards and Iraqi troops. He said there were no reports of any casualties in the clashes.

Saudi naval units continued to patrol the Gulf coast searching for Iraqi mine-laying ships.