Firefight in Iraq as new Saddam video surfaces | india | Hindustan Times
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Firefight in Iraq as new Saddam video surfaces

The intense firefight comes as US President George W Bush prepares to unveil his new strategy for Iraq on Wednesday.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2007 18:35 IST

A fierce firefight raged in central Baghdad on Tuesday between the Iraqi army and Sunni insurgents, as a grisly new video of Saddam Hussein taken shortly after his hanging appeared on the Internet.

The intense firefight comes as US President George W Bush prepares to unveil his new strategy for Iraq on Wednesday.

A barrage of mortar and machine-gun fire reverberated across central Baghdad as security forces launched a crackdown on Sunni insurgents in the notorious Haifa Street, less than two kilometres from the heavily fortified Green Zone -- the seat of Iraq's government and the US embassy.

US fighter jets and military helicopters hovered above the area where the battle was centred, witnesses and the US military said.

Skirmishes began in the early hours today and by daylight had grown into a heated firefight, forcing residents to steer clear of key roads.

The US military said Iraqi soldiers with support from coalition forces "are conducting targeted raids to capture multiple targets, disrupt insurgent activity and restore Iraqi security forces' control of north Haifa Street."

"This area has been subject to insurgent activity which has repeatedly disrupted Iraqi security force operation in central Baghdad," Lieutenant Colonel Scott Bleichwehl said in the statement.

He said the joint forces were being subjected during the operation to small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.