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U.S. Troops Kill 7 Iraqi Women, Kids

by Richard Kelly Tuesday, Apr. 01, 2003 at 2:49 PM

Article from

U.S. Troops Kill 7 Iraqi Women, Kids

March 31, 2003

The Pentagon has confirmed that U.S. troops killed seven Iraqi women and children at a checkpoint when their van would not stop as ordered, CBS News Correspondent Bob Fuss reports.

Two other civilians were wounded in the incident at a U.S. Army checkpoint on a highway near Najaf in southern Iraq, a military spokesman said.

The U.S. Army 3rd Infantry was manning the checkpoint when the van, which was carrying 13 civilians, refused to stop. They fired warning shots, the spokesman said, and the van still didn't stop. So they fired into the engine and then into the vehicle itself.

Troops have been much more aggressive in dealing with cars at checkpoints since a suicide bomber in a car killed four Marines near Najaf Saturday.

In a statement, U.S. Central Command said, "In light of recent terrorist attacks by the Iraqi regime, the soldiers exercised considerable restraint to avoid the unnecessary loss of life."

In other major developments:

Baghdad was shaken again in the overnight hours by six explosions in rapid succession. Clouds of smoke have been billowing from the Old Palace presidential compound, casting an orange glow across the night sky.

President Bush told hundreds of Coast Guard personnel in Philadelphia that coalition forces were making progress. “Many dangers lie ahead, but day by day we are moving closer to Baghdad. Day by day we are moving closer to victory,” Mr. Bush said.

A high-ranking military official told CBS News that the war could exact a "very high price" in American lives.

Journalist Peter Arnett, covering the war from Baghdad, was fired by NBC for submitting to an interview with Iraqi television in which he said the coalition war plan had "failed."

A car crashed into the main gate of the British Embassy in in Tehran, Iran, bursting into flames and killing its driver. It's not immediately clear if it was a terror attack.

Newsweek reports Iraq has made a clandestine purchase of up to 1,000 lightweight Russian antitank missiles.

U.S. bombers and cruise missiles struck Baghdad's command and communications centers several times Monday, starting before dawn, and hit the Information Ministry for a second time in two days. The explosions knocked out telephone lines and sent huge clouds of smoke into the night sky.

Iraqi officials said state television and radio broadcasts were unaffected and accused coalition forces of targeting Iraqi civilians in residential areas. Arab-language satellite television Al-Jazeera reported the strikes killed four children in a low-income section of Baghdad.

In the north, U.S. aircraft pounded Iraqi positions near the northern town of Kalak, while in the south, divers struggled to clear mines so aid can be transported through the port of Umm Qasr.

The Pentagon said Monday that the allied air campaign had significantly weakened Iraqi forces.

Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal told reporters that 3,000 precision-guided bombs were dropped on Iraq over the weekend, more than a third of the total number dropped since the war began.

The bombings have caused "a very significant weakening of the forces," McChrystal said. "We are seeing some movement of Republican Guard formations as well. ... What we think we're seeing them do is moving to reinforce other (units) that have severely degraded."

Over the weekend, Pentagon officials said that U.S. troops were prepared for a major attack against Saddam's Guard forces, but the heaviest attack may have to await pressure to build on the Iraqi leader.

The U.S. military has detected signs that reinforcements are being sent to some front-line Republican Guard units, while other Iraqi units are pulling back, closer to Baghdad, according to a senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, a top military official, who spoke to CBS News on background, said the United States is "prepared to pay a very high price. If that means a lot of casualties, there will be a lot of casualties."

"There's going to come a time when things may be much more shocking," the official said.

With the addition of four Marines who died in a tank after the driver was shot and the tank fell in a river, the total official U.S. death count is now 47, plus 25 Britons. There are 18 Americans listed as missing and seven confirmed POW’s. The number of wounded is well over 100.

The stark warning came as the invasion entered a potentially more dangerous phase.

The 3rd Infantry encountered Republican Guard troops and killed 35 Iraqis in fighting near Hindiyah, only 50 miles from Baghdad — near the entrance to the "red zone" in which a chemical attack on invasion forces is feared.

The 4th Battalion of the 64th armored regiment rolled in to the town of 80,000 at dawn and was met quickly by small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades from Iraqis hiding behind hedges and brick walls.

In Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, British forces continued to skirmish with militiamen loyal to Saddam. As many as 1,000 Royal Marines and supporting troops destroyed a bunker and several tanks in a commando assault Sunday. About 30 Iraqis were captured and an unknown number were killed. One Royal Marine was killed in the assault.

British forces arrested five people during a raid on Basra's Baath Party headquarters Monday. Overnight, two companies of Iraqi infantry north of the Rumeila region were destroyed along with 17 T-55 tanks and five artillery pieces, a British military spokesman said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

British forces also discovered a cache of arms and explosives at a school in the southern port city of Umm Qasr.

The 101st Airborne Division has surrounded Najaf in south-central Iraq, prepared for possible house-to-house battles to root out Saddam's fighters. But it was unclear whether U.S. forces would take the city of 300,000, about 100 miles south of Baghdad, or just surround it. Coalition forces are leery of damaging holy sites, which could anger Shiites in Iraq and elsewhere, most notably Iran.

North of Baghdad, U.S.-backed Kurdish troops took control of territory near Kalak from fleeing Iraqi troops as U.S. aircraft pounded Iraqi positions. The Kurds advanced almost 10 miles, slowed by hundreds of mines.

British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon said Monday in London that a total of about 8,000 Iraqi soldiers have been captured, but no senior members of Saddam's regime have been taken prisoner. The International Committee of the Red Cross has visited with some of the Iraqis held captive but none of the Americans listed as POWs.

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Thank you Sadam fresca Tuesday, Apr. 01, 2003 at 5:06 PM
fresca fresca Tuesday, Apr. 01, 2003 at 5:08 PM
FRESCA: Patriotic Dove Tuesday, Apr. 01, 2003 at 5:11 PM
Hey Dove fresca Tuesday, Apr. 01, 2003 at 5:27 PM
Deja vu! (oh, sorry, that's French) George W. Bush Tuesday, Apr. 01, 2003 at 5:28 PM
Sure! Fresca Tuesday, Apr. 01, 2003 at 5:32 PM
Fresca fresca Tuesday, Apr. 01, 2003 at 5:34 PM
huh? Fresca Tuesday, Apr. 01, 2003 at 6:35 PM
because thats what you sound like, beeyatch! loki Wednesday, Apr. 02, 2003 at 6:04 PM
FRESCA AND MILITARY? Geeeeeeeez!!! Wednesday, Apr. 02, 2003 at 8:02 PM
Hmmm. Better hide your towers then yanks Shitdog Wednesday, Apr. 02, 2003 at 8:03 PM
Bush Admirer Fox News Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 11:19 AM
Kick Fresca's arce for me SADDAM Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 12:47 PM
SADDAM Post Eric Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 1:58 PM
Patriotic Dove Sheepdog Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 2:02 PM
Fake Sheepdog post Eric Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 2:05 PM
Fake Post Sheepdog Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 2:07 PM
The above post Eric Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 2:08 PM
Eric Sheepdog Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 2:12 PM
Simple Simple Simon Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003 at 2:14 PM

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