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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Another Car Bomb Explodes in Iraq

Aired September 2, 2003 - 19:16   ET

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

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Grim news on two fronts in the Iraq conflict. Three U.S. soldiers died in two separate incidents around Baghdad. That, of course, brings U.S. troops' deaths in the war to 286, and the death toll is now 123 from the four recent car bombings.
The latest went off today in a police station parking lot in western Baghdad. Rym Brahimi is there with details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RYM BRAHIMI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The fourth car bomb in Iraq in four weeks. The target this time, a police station. The casualties, at least one person killed and, according to a hospital that took in the wounded, at least 18 people injured.

Having heard of the explosion, this woman came frantically looking for her son, who works there. The bomb exploded in the morning on a day when former Iraqi policemen come to collect their salaries and look for jobs with the new Iraqi police force.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Those targeted were the police, and in general the police came not to serve a certain person but the country. They're not serving the Americans or a certain group or a party. They're serving Iraq.

BRAHIMI: Speaking to reporters, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, said the coalition would continue to fight terrorists in Iraq with the help, he said, of the Iraqi people.

PAUL BREMER, U.S. ADMINISTRATOR IN IRAQ: As twice before in the past month, the terrorists have taken innocent lives. Once again the terrorists have shown they will stop at nothing in the pursuit of their aims. But they shall be stopped. We will stop them. We shall combat them and we shall overcome them.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Rym, joining us live in Baghdad.

Rym, I have a question. The moderate Shiite cleric Mohammad Bakr al-Hakim, who died in Friday's bombing, he was buried in Najaf. His brother has now replaced him, said to be not quite so supportive of the U.S.

If this is true it would seem to complicate the coalition's work, at least in southern Iraq. BRAHIMI: well, yes, and no. There are many issues here in what we were just talking about.

First of all it's true that Mohammad Bakr al-Hakim was more of a moderating force, if you will. He played an interesting balancing act between calling on the Iraqi people or his followers to give the U.S. a chance to prove what they can do, but on the other hand also calling on the U.S. To quickly do what they have to do and leave as soon as they can.

Interesting also that he never participated as leader of the movement that he represented, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. He never participated in the governing council, but he allowed his brother, the person you're talking about, Abdel Azziz Hakim (ph), to do so.

Now I think part of it is an issue of legitimacy. Abdel Azziz al Hakim (ph) is part of the governing council that was appointed by the U.S. administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, and the governing council is seen by many Iraqis at best as ineffective at worse as illegitimate because it lacks representativity. So there is a need here to appeal to a lot of people who do want the end of this occupation -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Rym Brahimi in Baghdad, thanks for the update.

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