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America Sending More Troops After Deadly Clash in Falluja - 2003-04-29


We begin in Iraq. The United States says it will send an additional three to four thousand soldiers and military police there to increase security in the capital, Baghdad. The announcement came just hours after at least 13 Iraqis were killed and some 75 others were wounded when U.S. troops clashed with anti-American demonstrators. Amy Katz has details.

NATURAL SOUND - CHANTING

Many in Falluja, an Iraqi town west of Baghdad, took to the streets for the funerals of those killed in the incident late Monday. While families buried their loved ones, angry demonstrators demanded American troops leave Iraq.

NATURAL SOUND - DEMONSTRATORS SHOUTING “DOWN WITH U.S.A.”

The U.S. military and Iraqi witnesses have differing accounts of exactly what happened.

U.S. soldiers in Falluja say they returned fire when some armed men, taking part in an anti-U.S. protest, shot at them. Major General Glen Webster, Deputy Commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq, said soldiers are empowered to enforce the law.

MAJ. GEN. GLEN WEBSTER, DEPUTY COMMANDER U.S. FORCES IN IRAQ
“Now that does not mean that anyone breaking the law will be shot, it simply means if the force is required to protect life and property, then our soldiers are authorized to use it.”

Falluja residents say the demonstrators were not armed, and were demanding that U.S. forces vacate a local school, where American soldiers are camped, so that students could return to classes there.

Meanwhile, the former governor of Basra, Walid Hamid al-Tikriti, surrendered in Baghdad Tuesday. He was number 44 on the U.S. list of the 55 most-wanted officials from the ousted Iraqi regime.

On Monday, the former Iraqi oil minister, Amir Rashid Mohammed al-Ubaydi, surrendered to U.S. forces. He was number 47 on the most-wanted list. He is also known to have played a large role in Iraq’s missile development program.

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