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Fighting reported across Baghdad

Al-Jazeera: Journalist killed in bombing

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A ball of fire from a bomb dropped by a coalition airplane rises Tuesday in the vicinity of the Iraqi Ministry of Information in downtown Baghdad.

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Abu Dhabi TV reports U.S. forces traded fire with Iraqi troops near a presidential complex in central Baghdad (April 8)
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CNN's embedded reporter Martin Savidge says U.S. Marines have entered Baghdad after engaging Iraqi troops at a warehouse complex on the outskirts of the city (April 8)
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CNN's Rula Amin reports that while coalition forces move into Baghdad, Iraq claims it is in control of the city.
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Fighting broke out across the Iraqi capital Tuesday morning, with clashes reported at a presidential palace, an industrial complex and a government high-rise in a presidential compound.

The presidential palace -- the largest in the city -- lies on the west bank of the Tigris River, across the water from the Palestine Hotel. Soldiers from the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division had entered the palace Monday.

An artillery barrage appeared to focus on one of the buildings in the palace complex, sources told CNN. Three or four rockets were fired from the complex as well, but it was not clear who fired them.

Machine gun fire was heard from the direction of a presidential palace in Baghdad about 5 a.m. (10 p.m. Monday EDT), a correspondent for the Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. said. It's not clear if it was the same palace.

The machine gun fire followed several hours of intense mortar and rocket attacks by both sides, CNN correspondent Lisa Rose Weaver reported.

Weaver, who is embedded with the U.S. Army's V Corps, 52nd Air Defense, at Baghdad's international airport west of the city, said the ground vibrated and bright flashes were visible in the direction of the city center for several hours early Tuesday.

U.S. forces used mortars and heavy artillery, and, earlier the previous evening, multiple-launch rocket systems, Weaver said.

Government building under fire

Across the river, on the east bank of the Tigris, flames shot from the upper floors of a central-Baghdad high-rise during a firefight between a U.S. armored unit and Iraqi forces, Abu Dhabi TV reported.

The brick structure of at least eight stories is in one of Saddam Hussein's presidential compounds. It was shrouded in dense smoke Tuesday, but until recently, it had been used by one of Iraq's deputy prime ministers.

Abu Dhabi TV said the fight began as coalition forces tried to seize control of a nearby bridge. A large explosion was seen on one side of the bridge.

Heavy machine gun fire peppered the side of the high-rise, and what appeared to be blasts from a tank's main gun struck the side of the building.

According to Abu Dhabi TV, Iraqis were trying to defend the building as coalition warplanes circled overhead at low altitudes. Earlier, A-10s and at least one F-14 were shown flying over the city.

Marines enter capital

On the southeastern edge of Baghdad, U.S. Marines crawled forward at a snail's pace as they fought Iraqi resistance at an industrial complex, CNN correspondent Martin Savidge reported.

The complex contains many acres of factories and warehouses, a soft drink bottling factory, brewery and cigarette factory. Savidge, who is embedded with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, said they were going from building to building and encountering opposition.

The Marines were concerned that the site might contain sensitive chemical material, he said. There were few or no civilians there.

Rounds of artillery and heavy machine gun fire went off continually as the convoy stopped for a time on the road.

Al-Jazeera reporter killed

At least one Al-Jazeera journalist was killed and another wounded Tuesday when a U.S. airstrike hit a building housing Arab media, the Arabic-language network reported.

Tarik Ayoub, a journalist for the network, was carried along the street in a blanket and placed in the back of an Abu Dhabi TV sport utility vehicle. Ayoub died from his injuries, Al-Jazeera reported. The fate of the second reporter was unknown.

A nearby building where Abu Dhabi TV has its offices also was bombed Tuesday, but no injuries were immediately reported.

The Abu Dhabi structure was hit during the firefight between coalition forces and occupants of the government high-rise.

-- CNN correspondent Nic Robertson contributed to this report

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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