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Army, CNN crew treat wounded Iraqi

CNN's Walter Rodgers
CNN's Walter Rodgers

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An injured Iraqi soldier who had been mistaken for dead receives first aid from U.S. soldiers and a CNN crew during a firefight near Baghdad. CNN's Walter Rodgers reports. (April 4)
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Walter Rodgers, embedded with the U.S. 3-7th Cavalry, reports during a firefight with Iraqi forces near Baghdad's Saddam International Airport. (April 4)
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NEAR BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The Army's 7th Cavalry was in a standing position a few miles from Baghdad's main airport Friday, and continued to encounter determined pockets of resistance.

Traveling with the 7th Cavalry, CNN correspondent Walter Rodgers and his crew discovered that an Iraqi soldier thought to be killed in a skirmish was actually alive.

CNN crew members helped to treat the soldier as the Army summoned a medic. Rodgers spoke to CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: It is remarkable just to observe this, Walter, and to know that even under fire they would send people out to try to aid a wounded Iraqi solider.

RODGERS: Well, that's standard operating procedure. That wouldn't come as a surprise to any of these U.S. soldiers. This is what the U.S. military has been noted for doing.

Our crew is working on him. One of our crew members, Paul Jordan, an Australian former SAS [Special Air Service] soldier, is very good with first aid. He appears to be administering first aid.

I can't leave the tether of the microphone to find out how badly injured that soldier is, but he has been lying beside the road wounded for some five hours.

As we passed by most of those soldiers, we could see a number of them dead, lying beside the road, [or] maimed and disfigured, but apparently one of the Iraqis was able to get out of the burning armored personnel carrier and crawl into a low depression off on a side road and seek shelter there. And he's been alive ...

We've got incoming fire, we've got to get down.

(Several minutes later)

RODGERS: We do have a little good news for you about that wounded Iraqi soldier. My cameraman, Charles Miller, was up there and said his leg appears in pretty bad shape, but it appears as though he will live.

That Iraqi soldier's been lying in a ditch for some five hours, unnoticed, wounded. And it appears as though his injuries are not that serious, although there are a number of his dead colleagues around that vehicle.

(Several minutes later)

RODGERS: What you're looking at is a Pvt. Waterman; Jeff Barwise, our satellite engineer; and Paul Jordan, our security officer. They discovered an alive Iraqi in the ditch, 110 to 120 yards from where I'm hunkering down in the road.

All morning long, we're been viewing these pictures of burned-out Iraqi armored vehicles. They tried to push through and override the 7th Cavalry's line last night.

There were Iraqis in the burned-out vehicles and hanging around, but apparently one Iraqi soldier managed to pull his way out of the burning wreckage and into a ditch, a berm on the side of the road.

As you can see, our unit's giving him water at this point, even as we remain under fire from other Iraqis. But that Iraqi soldier, according to the CNN people who are now administering first aid to him, appears to have a badly injured leg but otherwise will probably survive.

We need to tell you that the Army has radioed for a medic to come up and take care of the Iraqi soldier. The problem, of course, is the Iraqis are pinning down everyone in the rear, so the medic's armored personnel carrier cannot come forward at this time.

The medics are under fire. The Iraqis are shooting on every one of the rear contingents, both ahead of us and behind us.

COOPER: Walter, while you were talking, we heard some more of what sounded like machine gun blasts. I take it that was from either the Bradley or the Abrams. Are you still receiving that incoming fire?

RODGERS: A second ago there was some kind of fire overhead. It might have been a rocket-propelled grenade; I can't be sure. It whizzed overhead and exploded in a field about 75 yards away.

But, yes, this unit has been under constant fire and this unit remains under constant fire. Has been for hours and hours now.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This report was written in accordance with Pentagon ground rules allowing so-called embedded reporting, in which journalists join deployed troops. Among the rules accepted by all participating news organizations is an agreement not to disclose sensitive operational details.


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