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Martin Savidge: Getting Baghdad back on its feet

CNN's Martin Savidge
CNN's Martin Savidge

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U.S. forces are working to restore order to Baghdad, as looting continues and sporadic gunfire echoes inside the Iraqi capital. CNN's Martin Savidge reports.
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(CNN) -- While U.S. forces skirmished with the remaining Iraqi troops in Baghdad, efforts to restore calm in the city grew Friday.

CNN correspondent Martin Savidge reported from Baghdad about measures the American military has taken so far to establish post-Hussein security.

SAVIDGE: It is quieter today. Baghdad is not quiet -- it would be too far to go to that extreme. The crackle of gunfire still can be heard in the city, the occasional explosion, and certainly there is smoke rising some places on the Baghdad skyline.

But that situation being the case, things are said to be definitely more calm than they have been during the past couple of days.

Now today is Friday; that's the Muslim day of prayer, not only here in Iraq but across the Muslim world. So the day may account for some of the situation as well.

The military is saying the presence of U.S. forces inside Baghdad has grown -- grown dramatically. There are now more patrols than ever out in the street, and they are running them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So there is no problem when it comes to having the military on the street.

But there's still a sense among the population that there is no law here. And that's what the military is trying to deal with.

The way they're dealing with that perception is two-fold. First, they are switching the mode in which they came into this city: first as a fighting force, now taking up as a security force. It's not necessarily a role a lot of the military has been trained in, but nevertheless, that's the role they've got right now.

The next role they're taking on is trying to encourage the people of Baghdad, especially those that were involved in jobs with civil authority, to come back to their jobs: those that were involved with electricity, come back; those that were involved with water distribution, they need them, as well as police officers -- all of those people.

They are working and meeting with officials right now to determine the best way to get the city back on its feet.

EDITOR'S NOTE: CNN's policy is to not report information that puts operational security at risk.


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