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April 8, 2003
 
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(AP Photo)
Key Developments in the War Against Iraq
Key Developments in the War Against Iraq

The Associated Press


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April 8

Key developments in the war in Iraq:

U.S. forces said it may take some time to determine whether Saddam Hussein was killed in a bombing raid on a restaurant where he was believed to be meeting with his sons. The site remained in Iraqi hands, a day after a U.S. warplane dropped four bunker-buster bombs and blasted a smoking crater 60 feet deep at the restaurant. At least three houses were destroyed and 20 others damaged, some badly, in the attempt to kill Saddam.

President Bush said Saddam is losing his grip on power "finger by finger" and he may even be dead. Speaking at a joint news conference in Northern Ireland, Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the United Nations would play a vital role in Iraq's reconstruction.

Iraqi forces staged a counterattack, sending buses and trucks full of fighters over the Tigris River to overrun U.S. forces holding a strategic intersection in western Baghdad. Iraqi snipers shot at U.S. soldiers from rooftops, wounding two, one seriously. At least 50 Iraqi fighters were killed.

Thousands of people continued to flee Baghdad in buses, trucks, minibuses and pickup trucks to the relative safety of the north and northeast.

The Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera reported that one of its journalists was killed when its Baghdad office was hit by a bomb from a U.S. plane. A cameraman was wounded.

The Palestine Hotel, home base for many journalists, was struck by U.S. tank fire. A television cameraman for Reuters news agency and a Spanish television cameraman were killed. At least three other journalists were injured.

A coalition A-10 "Warthog" warplane was shot down near Baghdad in what was believed to be the first downing of a coalition aircraft by an Iraqi surface-to-air missile.

U.S. Marines entered the capital from the south and southeast early Tuesday, sending a contingent to guard a nuclear plant protected by large berms.

A new cassette tape purported to be from Osama bin Laden called on Muslims to rise up against Arab governments that support the attack on Iraq, and urged suicide attacks.

The U.S. 101st Airborne division attacked an eight-story building near the Baghdad airport that had been used as a base for a small number of Republican Guard holdouts. American forces killed two Iraqis.

The U.S. military is testing samples from a site in Iraq where soldiers found metal drums containing possible chemical weapons, defense officials said.


photo credit and caption:
A U.S. Marine of the 3rd batallion, 4th regiment, searches an Iraqi civilian while securing a main road leading into Baghdad in the southeast outskirts of the Iraqi capital, Tuesday, April 8, 2003. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
 
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