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Sanjay Gupta: Sirens and 'Bunker, bunker, bunker!'

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CNN's Sanjay Gupta

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CNN's Sanjay Gupta, in Kuwait with the U.S. Marines, describes the rush to bunkers and gas masks during an alarm in the desert. (March 20)
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(CNN) -- U.S. Marines at Camp Iwo Jima were called to their bunkers and donned gas masks during several alerts Thursday morning in the northern Kuwait desert.

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who is on site with the Marines at Camp Iwo Jima, reported to CNN's Bill Hemmer by videophone.

HEMMER: Here is Sanjay wearing a gas mask, so at this point we know the all-clear has not been given there. Sanjay -- what do you know?

GUPTA: That's right, Bill, no all-clear here by any means.

We've been here for almost half-an-hour. We do have our gas masks on and our helmets. This is the fourth one (alert) in as many hours. The first bunker call, the first real bunker call that these Marines have ever seen, took place at about 10:30 this morning. We've had three subsequent bunker calls.

At the beginning of this bunker call, we did hear thuds... all around us. Because we're in the bunker, it is very hard to tell exactly from where those sounds are coming, although they appeared to be north and south of us. There were also sirens alarming, and they are still intermittently alarming.

About 15 to 20 minutes into this bunker call we were all told to put our masks on. That is where we stand. We're ... quite hunkered down and slightly anticipatory of what might happen next.

HEMMER: What are you hearing from the Marines as to why it's been a stop-go, a start-go process out there in the desert?

GUPTA: Well, there does appear to be a lot of confusion and a lot of stopping and going here. The situation seems very fluid, very dynamic right now. We've heard thuds now, loud thuds closer than before for the first time just recently, and that appears to certainly have ratcheted up the tension a little bit in this particular camp.

I can't tell you why it's stop-go. Certainly when we're given the all-clear, we get out of here and the mood seems to lift, but as soon as we hear those sirens go off again, as soon as we hear that "Bunker, bunker, bunker!" everyone is right back inside.

HEMMER: All right, Sanjay, thank you.


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