Operation Iraqi Freedom - April 1
New waves of allied bombing were reported across Iraq with more large explosions heard in Baghdad early Wednesday morning (Baghdad time) in some of the heaviest air strikes since the start of the war. Still, there was no indication that the Iraqi forces are ready to surrender.
Other air attacks continue to target Republican Guard units blocking the southern approaches to Baghdad.
Coalition forces have conducted a successful rescue mission of a U-S Army prisoner of war held captive in Iraq. The soldier was returned to a coalition controlled area. The rescued P-O-W is identified as a female soldier taken captive when her Army convoy took a wrong turn in Nasariyah more than a week ago and encountered enemy fire. In all, seven Americans have been listed as captured by Iraq since the start of the war. No word on whether this rescue was part of an attempt to free all of them or whether an operation may still be underway to free the others.
1st Marine Division conducted a series of raids and limited objective attacks into more than six towns and villages Monday in the central Iraq area to liberate the local populace from Saddam Hussein and hunt down paramilitary forces. Local villagers cooperated by providing the Marines information on the whereabouts of key Ba'ath Party leaders, documents, weapons caches, and intelligence on regular army and paramilitary operations. The Marines provided the villagers with humanitarian rations and medical assistance.
U-S Marines waged what was described as "bloody street-to-street" fighting in and around the central Iraqi town of Diwaniya and took at least 20 Iraqi prisoners.
A PATRIOT firing battery destroyed an Iraqi ballistic missile launched against U.S. and Coalition forces in Iraq. The intercept, with a PAC-3 missile, took place at approximately 9:00 a.m. (1:00 a.m. EST) on Tuesday. The eight intercepts prior to this had taken place against missiles directed towards Kuwait.
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