Daily war briefing

War In Iraq

April 02, 2003

The battlefield

An American prisoner of war, identified as Pfc. Jessica Lynch, a supply clerk with the Army's 507th Maintenance Company, was rescued and was reportedly taken to a military hospital. She and her company were ambushed March 23 near Nasiriyah. The U.S. military released no additional information.

U.S. forces waged a fierce battle with the Republican Guard outside Karbala, about 50 miles south of Baghdad, beginning to clear the way for a ground assault on the capital.

U.S. Marines waged a firefight against Iraqi forces in Diwaniyah, south of Baghdad, killing up to 90 Iraqis and taking 20 prisoners.

Coalition warplanes continued to bombard government facilities in Baghdad and Republican Guard positions.

The international front

On Iraqi national television, the Iraqi information minister read a statement he said was from Saddam Hussein, calling for a jihad, or holy war, against the coalition forces.

A reporter and a photographer from Newsday in Long Island, N.Y., and two other journalists made their way to Jordan after being held by Iraqi officials.

The home front

At a Pentagon briefing, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld denied that the U.S. is negotiating an end to the war with Iraq. "The only thing the coalition will discuss with this regime is their unconditional surrender," he said.

Terror alert

Security nationwide remains at code orange, a high level.

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