American Troops Continue to Occupy Baghdad's Districts - 10 April, 2003

On Thursday morning, artillery skirmish could be heard in Baghdad. American troops continue to occupy one district after another in the city, reported a correspondent of the Abu Dhabi satellite television. According to him, the skirmish began at the dawn to the north of the Tigris river, but then stopped. An American reconnaissance plane is flying above Baghdad. But in general, it was quiet at night.

The Qatar Al-Jazeera TV channel reported that bursts of sub-machine guns could be heard at night in different districts of the city.

American troops fully control the centre of the city and continue to occupy other districts. For instance, they have taken under their control the police building in the west of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, 29 Arab journalists and officials of two TV channels, Al-Jazeera and Abu Dhabi, remain blocked in the basement of the building where they had their correspondent offices. They have managed to come into contact with the Red Cross mission but in vain - the answer was that the activity of the mission has been stopped.

On Wednesday, 7 Italian journalists, earlier arrested by the Iraqi authorities, were freed.

Al-Jazeera reports that the head of the American administration (the Organisation for Restoration and for Humanitarian Aid to Iraq), retired Lieutenant General Jay Garner, will arrive in Baghdad as the circumstances will make it possible.

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