BAGHDAD, Iraq April 7 —
As U.S. tanks rolled through Baghdad, a few Iraqis waited on both
sides of the Tigris River for more ordinary transportation: city
Others tried to hitchhike, though destinations were unclear and
most stores were closed.
Dust clouded the air, stirred by a coming windstorm, and an acrid
haze blanketed the city from explosions and fires.
Iraqi television and radio still on the air broadcast patriotic
songs and slogans and archival footage of President Saddam Hussein
firing a gun and greeting crowds of followers. Radio played a
religious sermon exhorting Iraqis to fight and denouncing the United
States and Britain.
At noon, explosions, heavy- and light-arms and machine gun fire
rang out from the southern section of Saddam's Old Palace compound,
three miles down the river from the New Presidential Palace, taken
earlier by the U.S. Army.
At the Information Ministry, also on the river's west bank,
several civilians armed with rocket-propelled grenade rifles stood
by and a half-dozen Iraqi soldiers manned sandbagged positions.
They flashed a reporter the "V-for-victory" sign.
Nearby, armed militiamen and civilians loitered around gardens
behind a large, Soviet-style complex of apartment blocks. Asphalt on
the road near the Information Ministry and Al-Rashid Hotel was
chewed up, evidence of the U.S. tanks and armored personnel carriers
that had surrounded the buildings.
Not far from the hotel, other armed militia pedaled bicycles and
soldiers darted around in muddy, four-by-four vehicles.
At the city's main bus terminal, nearly 500 people civilians and
soldiers stood waiting for a ride.
|U.S. Marines of the 3rd
Battalion, 4th Regiment take positions as they secure a key
bridge leading into Baghdad in the outskirts of the Iraqi
capital, Monday, April 7, 2003. Two Marines were killed Monday
when their Amtrack troop transporter was hit by an artillery
shell at a bridge over a canal on the outskirts of the Iraqi
capital, Lt. Col.B.P. McCoy said Monday. (AP Photo/Laurent
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