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War in Iraq: War Continues

Aired March 30, 2003 - 05:52   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Voices of the world. There is little let up in war rallies this weekend. In Seoul, South Korea, students scuffled with riot police as thousands of anti-war activists marched through the streets of the capital yesterday. No serious injuries or arrests were reported, despite those scenes of violence there.
In India, Muslims protested what they consider U.S. atrocities on Iraq. Thousands raised anti-U.S. slogans during protests yesterday. Others praised Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. There you see a sign right there of the President Saddam Hussein. And hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Bogota, Colombia Friday, to protest the U.S.-led war and Colombia's support of it.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, British troops are making their way from southern Iraq working northward toward Basra. As they do that, they're doing door-to-door searches. Bill Neely has more on that story.


BILL NEELY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In southern Iraq today, the boot's on the other foot. The Royal Marines are now in charge and in pursuit of the old regime. In dawn raids, they broke into dozens of houses to hunt for the soldiers, the secret police. The gloves are off here. This is war.

The protests are loud, but the Marines are acting on the tip off of informers, who've told them where to find the men who never hid before. Among those arrested, a man the Marines say is an Iraqi army general, who like the rest of his troops, discarded his uniform and tried to disappear into the civilian population.

The Marines now have a tight grip on Umm Qasr. Further north towards Basra, they've taken to streets of a town of 30,000 people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... a blue Isuzu trooper.

NEELY: In Umm Kayal (ph), there's still a fight. They put snipers on the rooftops and pick off men with weapons. Inside the car with the white flag, an armed Iraqi who took a pot shot, and paid for it.

Here, the population is weary, but resistance from Saddam's loyalists is being warned down. MAJOR GENERAL ROB MACGOWAN, BRITISH ROYAL MARINES: We've sent in one of our companies of about 100 men in here this morning. And we took about 12 or 13 prisoners; three or four enemy were injured, and they've now been flown out, and we're treating them; including a man who was almost dead with a gunshot wound to the chest. We've now evacuated them out, and the enemy now have either fled or they've been captured.

NEELY: In buildings and homes, the Marines are finding stocks of abandoned weapons. Here, hundreds of rocket propelled grenades. Then it's on to the dusty streets of a town that rebelled against Saddam 12 years ago, a revolt he brutally crushed.

(on camera): Street by street, town by town in southern Iraq, the Marines are imposing their will and their weapons. From now on here, this will be a guerrilla war, in which the main threat is the sniper and the ambush.

(voice-over): This is Bill Neely with the Royal Marines in Umm Kayal (ph), southern Iraq.


KAGAN: Just ahead, we're going to check in with one town that has been particularly hard hit by this war. That story is just ahead. Right now a quick break.


COOPER: Well, rallies against the war and in support of troops were held across the U.S. on Saturday. In Patterson, New Jersey, both anti-war and counter demonstrators squared off, trading insults as police in riot gear stood watch. Heeding calls from the city's Muslim leadership, most of Patterson's Arab Americans and Muslims stayed away from the rally.

In New York, several hundred demonstrators were on the streets of Manhattan again yesterday. They marched from Times Square to Union Square. Most of the protesting the war in Iraq. About three dozen people rallied near the United Nations in support of the Americans in battle.

In Los Angeles, the International Black Coalition for Peace and Justice held a demonstration to show African-American opposition to the war. Congresswoman Maxine Waters was among the speakers there.

KAGAN: There are no anti-war protests expected in the small town of Hinesville, Georgia. This is a community that has been deeply affected by what is going on in Iraq. It is home to the 3rd Infantry Division, which has already suffered casualties. Our Brian Cabell reports more on the mood of those who are left home on the home front.


BRIAN CABELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There weren't tens of thousands demonstrating here in Hinesville. There weren't massive arrests. No, the demonstrators here totaled maybe 500. But look at them, almost all soldier's wives and children, with a very personal interest in what's happening in Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have loved ones over there that are going through things that we can't even imagine. And it's just, it's heart wrenching.

CABELL: Hinesville is home to Fort Stewart. The 3rd Infantry Division is based here. But virtually all of the division, about 17,000 soldiers strong, is now fighting its way toward Baghdad. Already, at least six soldiers from Fort Stewart have been killed in Iraq.

Life in Hinesville has been somber lately. Not much to do but watch TV, wait for good news, pray you don't get bad news, and at least on this day, chase away your fears loudly with others who share your predicament.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The smiles on the wives' faces, it's been really a good thing to see because I know a lot of them have been really scared and nervous, and bringing together like this is really making them feel better.

CABELL: It's a rare respite for them, from the often troubling news from the battlefields of Iraq. And from the streets of some this nation's largest cities, where thousands of Americans are demonstrating against the war.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Protesting time is over. It's time to just go ahead and start supporting the troops.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love you, daddy. We miss you.

CABELL: A simple message from this small Army town in eastern Georgia. We miss you. We love you. We want you home as soon as you finish your work on the battlefield.

Brian Cabell, CNN, Fort Stewart, Georgia.



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