Daily war briefing

War In Iraq

March 30, 2003

Daily war briefing

The battlefield

A suicide bomber driving a taxi killed four American soldiers at a road checkpoint near Najaf after drawing them near his vehicle.

Military officers confirmed reports that U.S. forces had found bodies of some coalition troops in shallow graves near Nasiriyah.

Iraq's Ministry of Information building was damaged in a U.S. missile attack before dawn, as warplanes dropped six 500-pound laser-guided bombs and nine 500-pound unguided bombs on military vehicles and a command bunker south of Baghdad.

U.S. forces halted launching Tomahawk cruise missiles over parts of Saudi Arabia after the country complained some of the missiles landed in their desert.

Coalition planes struck Republican Guard positions south of Baghdad to soften defenses around the Iraqi capital in preparation for a U.S.-led ground assault, senior military officials said.

Warplanes used laser-guided missiles to destroy a building in Basra where Iraqi paramilitary troops were believed to be meeting. British troops also staged a raid into the city and destroyed five tanks and two statues of Saddam Hussein.

Kurdish militiamen moved closer to the oil fields in the northern region near Kirkuk after Iraqi forces withdrew from the area.

The international front

French President Jacques Chirac and British Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed the United Nations must play a large role in running Iraq after the war.

Pope John Paul II urged the faithful not to allow the Iraq conflict to stir up hatred between Christians and Muslims. "Let us not permit a human tragedy also to become a religious catastrophe."

Iraq's information minister said President Bush should be charged with war crimes for the deaths of Iraqi civilians.

Anti-war protests were staged around the world yesterday, with more than 100,000 demonstrating across Germany. Protests also were held in Yemen; Santiago, Chile; Caracas, Venezuela; Rome; Vicenza, Italy; Athens, Greece; Paris and in the United States.

The home front

Iraq's vice president threatens Iraqi-sponsored terrorism on U.S. soil - hinting of the danger that President Bush has tried to convince Americans they face from Saddam Hussein.

Terror alert

Security nationwide remains at code orange, a high level.

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