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Rodgers: Deadly Iraqi missile hits U.S. post

CNN's Walter Rodgers is embedded with the Army's 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry.
CNN's Walter Rodgers is embedded with the Army's 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry.

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NEAR BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- An Iraqi missile slammed into a U.S. Army tactical operations center south of Baghdad on Monday, killing four and injuring more than a dozen.

CNN correspondent Walter Rodgers, traveling with the Army's 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry, spoke with CNN anchor Bill Hemmer about the deadly attack.

HEMMER: Several hours ago, CNN's Walt Rodgers broke the story of some incoming missile or rocket targeting an operations center south of Baghdad. Walt is back with us with more. What more have we learned?

RODGERS: The casualties are worse than we previously reported. What we can tell you is that an Iraqi missile struck the tactical operations center for 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry. Fifteen wounded. Four dead. Two of the dead are said to be journalists.

Again, a missile, an Iraqi missile, slammed into the 2nd Brigade's tactical operations center a number of hours ago, causing serious casualties, at least 15 wounded at this point.

This is part of the operation to exert American military power deeper into Baghdad. ... We are told there are three battalions of 2nd Brigade inside the center of Baghdad.

Unlike the previous two days, those troops are not going to withdraw from Baghdad. ...

HEMMER: They are going to stay?

RODGERS: ... According to Army sources. They will be occupying a sector of the city.

HEMMER: Now, a couple of things on this TOC [technical operations center], this operations center -- is this as much as you can tell us anyway? Is this a tent [city] or a mobile unit? And is this where all operations are conducted for when that part of the 3rd is doing their operations in Baghdad?

RODGERS: Yes, I can answer each of those questions. First, it is not a tent. It is a mobile unit, much like what you see I'm standing in. It is usually a group of Bradley Fighting Vehicles and tanks drawn up. ...

They took up a station so they were not mobile. No tents involved. And this is, as I say, this is a very important command post that was hit by that Iraqi missile. It is the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, which, of course, involved the commanding officer, sending tank columns into Baghdad earlier today.

HEMMER: If you can, how much do you know about the current operations under way inside the city?

RODGERS: I don't know that much about what's going on inside the city, except units sent in today, unlike the previous two days, are going to be staying inside the city. Three battalions [are] stationed inside Baghdad. I can say that the 7th Cavalry, with whom I'm embedded, has come upon caches of more weapons: a SAM anti-aircraft missile that can strike up to 70,000 feet in the air. It could have knocked a B-52 out of the sky.

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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