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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

CentCom: Explosives on Bridges Near Baghdad

Aired March 26, 2003 - 04:25   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to check in with Tom Mintier right now, who is at the CentCom headquarters in Doha, Qatar.
Tom -- what do you got?

TOM MINTIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, just in the last couple of seconds I received some information from military sources here in Doha that they do believe that Saddam Hussein and his military have rigged bridges in and around Baghdad with explosives. They say that these bridges are wired to explode, and that they are set for destruction by the regime in Baghdad. They say these are the same tactics used as global terrorists do.

Again, these are military sources telling us that there is intelligence information that the bridges leading into Baghdad have been wired with explosives, heavily loaded with explosives to be triggered at a point uncertain. But they do have information that these bridges are set for destruction on the entrances to Baghdad.

Back to you.

COOPER: Well, Tom, and I'm not sure if you're familiar with Walter Rodgers' reporting I think it was about 24 hours ago when the 7th Calvary crossed over the bridge over the Euphrates. He indicated the same deal basically, that that bridge that he crossed over, that the 7th Calvary crossed over, was heavily wired with explosives.

MINTIER: Yes, this was the bridge across the Euphrates when they made their way across that in the middle of a sandstorm and were able to take out positions at both sides of the bridge as they crossed. But what we're talking about here, apparently, is all of the bridges surrounding Baghdad and in Baghdad, apparently intelligence information being generated now that all of these bridges as well are rigged.

This report from Walt Rodgers as they crossed over the bridge yesterday was indeed the area where the 7th Calvary was crossing the Euphrates to push their way north. But I'm sure that the area they're facing now as they are just outside Baghdad is a lot more bridges and a lot more crossing points that apparently have all now been rigged for explosion. But thatís about all of the information we have on it.

COOPER: All right, just one more thing the coalition forces are going to have to deal with as they approach Baghdad. And, Tom, as I'm sure you will agree, I'm sure there is a fascinating story that will be revealed once all of this is over and the books are being written about this conflict about how that information was found on the ground, how that intelligence information came into coalition hands about these bridges. Obviously it's something we donít know now, nor would we be able to comment on it if we did. It will be an interesting story to tell one day, I'm sure.

Tom Mintier live at CentCom headquarters, thanks very much.

MINTIER: Absolutely.

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