April 5 —
Key developments in the war in Iraq:
Deafening explosions rocked central Baghdad early Sunday as Iraqi
troops, members of President Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen militia and
teenage soldiers patrolled streets to protect the capital from
U.S. forces dashed inside Baghdad, sweeping through industrial
neighborhoods with tanks and armored vehicles and sending a message
to regime loyalists that the city could be breached at any time of
the coalition's choosing.
Black-clad members of Iraq's Fedayeen militia appeared for the
first time on streets in central Baghdad. As night fell, armed
troops, militiamen and Baath Party loyalists took positions at major
intersections and on main roads leading to the city exits.
Marines at the southern outskirts of Baghdad engaged in
close-quarters fighting with pro-Saddam volunteers from Jordan,
Egypt, Sudan and elsewhere, according to Lt. Col. B.P. McCoy of 3rd
Battalion, 4th Marines. His troops used bayonets while battling in
the reeds of a marsh.
U.S. Army soldiers captured the headquarters of the Republican
Guard's Medina Division in Suwayrah, about 35 miles southeast of
U.S. planes are now on station over Baghdad 24 hours a day, ready
to direct strike aircraft to their ground targets and to organize
the air battle, said Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Moseley, commander
of the air war.
Coalition aircraft conducted strikes on the Basra residence of
Ali Hassan al-Majid, a member of Saddam's inner circle who once
ordered a chemical weapons attack on Kurds, Central Command said.
The effects of the airstrikes were being assessed.
Military officials said elements of the 1st Marines Expeditionary
Force had penetrated the Al Nida division of the Republican Guard on
the southeastern outskirts of Baghdad.
Iraqi's information minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf held his
daily briefing Saturday and claimed that Iraqi forces had retaken
the Baghdad airport. U.S. officers say their hold on the airport is
The Pentagon identified eight dead soldiers found during the
rescue of American POW Jessica Lynch as being in her ambushed
convoy. They include the first combat death of an American woman in
the war Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa.
British forces in southern Iraq found hundreds of boxes
containing human remains in a warehouse near Zubayr and are
investigating how they got there, military officials said
President Bush said coalition forces "serve a great and just
cause" by defending free nations from terror and ridding Iraq of
Saddam Hussein's regime.
|U.S. Marines of the 3rd
battalion, 4th regiment escort suspected Iraqi desertors, 10
kilometers (6 miles) away on the main road to Baghdad,
Saturday, April 5, 2003. U.S. official said Saturday that
coalition forces were in the city of Baghdad and added that
substantial forces were moving into the city.(AP Photo/Laurent
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