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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Iraqi News Conference Reaction

Aired April 5, 2003 - 06:35   ET

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

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: If you happened to be up very late or very early back in the States, you might have caught a news conference that was held by Iraq's information minister. It has a very different take on what exactly is taking place in Baghdad than reports we are getting from our own correspondents; also from the U.S. military.
And with more on that, here is our Rula Amin. She is standing by in Amman, Jordan.

Rula -- hello.

RULA AMIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Daryn, good morning.

We are (UNINTELLIGIBLE). That's very close to the border between Jordan and Iraq.

And from Baghdad, we are getting a completely different version on what is happening there in the Iraqi capital. In the morning, we heard from the Iraqi information minister, who said that there was heavy bombing in Baghdad overnight, during the day.

And he also said that Iraqi forces have been able to push U.S. troops out of the airport that was taken over last night. The Iraqi minister said that they have been able, the Iraqis, to inflict serious damage among the U.S. troops. He said there were casualties among U.S. soldiers, and that some of them were taken as prisoners.

Now, he also said that most of those troops are out of the airport, that the Republican Guard, the Iraqi Republican Guards are now in control of that airport completely, and that some of the troops are trapped, in his own words, in an area called Abugrabe (ph), and that the Iraqis are continuing to attack them.

He also denied the report that there are some U.S. troops inside Baghdad. He said that is simply not true.

However, CNN correspondent Nic Robertson has been able to talk to some people in Baghdad, and there are some eyewitnesses who have witnessed U.S. troops in different locations in the Iraqi capital, in Amansun (ph) neighborhood, near Abutabul (ph) mosque and on one of the bridges. But it seems these were mobile troops, and that's why not so many people have been able to see them -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Rula Amin in Amman, Jordan, thank you.

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