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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

New Hussein Tape Aired on Al Jazeera

Aired July 4, 2003 - 20:00   ET

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

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: As President Bush reminded the country today, this Fourth of July finds the United States, quote; "still at war". And as if to underscore the point, today we heard what is claimed to be the voice of one of America's enemies, Saddam Hussein, on a newly released and supposedly recently recorded audiotape. The Iraqi people heard the tape, too. Jane Arraf watched them listen.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE ARRAF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The voice was eerily familiar to Iraqis. It told them Saddam and his circle were still among them. A voice they had heard almost every day for more than 20 years. Most had no doubt it was Saddam's.

We used to hear him all the time on television, said Jasim (ph). I know his voice like I know my own child's. Some Iraqis didn't want to talk about it. That's the power he still holds. The voice told them there would be more bloodshed.

SADDAM HUSSEIN (through translator): No recent days and weeks have passed without the blood of the infidels being shed on our pure land as a result of the holy war of the Mujahadin. What the coming days will bring will be, with God's help, hard on the infidel invaders.

ARRAF: The voice said there were now cells of fighters. It called on Iraqis to protect them. But most of all, the voice said Saddam and his circle were still among them. The voice said the message was made three weeks ago. Released by al Jazeera television on American Independence Day, it welcomed the strikes on U.S. troops.

U.S. says there are now more than a dozen of those attacks or attempted attacks a day. Statistically insignificant, U.S. military officials say. But the frequency and increasing boldness adding up to a feeling that Ba'ath party activists could be regrouping.

ARRAF (on camera): The importance of the message seemed not so much what it said, but that it was issued at all. U.S. officials acknowledge that while people still believe Saddam Hussein is alive, it will be extremely difficult to wipe out attacks on U.S. soldiers. Jane Arraf, CNN, Baghdad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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