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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

War in Iraq: On the Front Lines

Aired April 4, 2003 - 04:20   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to check in now on a different front in northern Iraq. David Turnley is in the northern Iraqi town of Kifry, and we're getting word there that Iraqis are retreating from there as well.
Let's go ahead and check in with David.

DAVID TURNLEY, CNN PHOTOGRAPHER: Good morning, Daryn.

Yes, in the town of Kifry, the Kurdish people here, in their minds, this place has been liberated this week, but not without hardship. On Tuesday, Special Forces, some distance behind this town to the north, called in American aerial bombing of the front line position just in front of this town. They hit a castle and an old police station, which had been the outpost of the Iraqi military in front of this town. And the Iraqi army then retaliated by lobbying mortar attacks onto the town. At least three people were killed and several were injured.

We are told that the Iraqi forces on three occasions tried to retreat and the Saddam Fedayeen execution committees forced them to go back to the front until finally they did retreat some 10 kilometers from here to the south.

In the last two days, the Kurdish people from this town have now taken over these outposts, both the castle and the old police station. And they are scavenging through the spoils of war that they find here, old posters of Saddam Hussein that have been torn apart. They picked up an Iraqi flag and burned it. There are helmets that are on the ground all over. There are army remnants of other kinds of military weaponry.

Tragically just in front of this castle, which is 200 meters in -- to the south of the town, one of my colleagues, a BBC cameraman, had driven unknowingly through a mine field that separated the town from the Iraqi positions, got out of his car and was killed as he stepped on a landmine. The cost of the liberation of this town this week has been very heavy.

KAGAN: Understandable. We've heard a lot of reports about how heavily mined northern Iraq is. A lot of work to do there before it is safe for all the Kurdish people to return to their homeland.

David Turnley, in Kifry, thank you for that.

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