Seven U.S. POWs rescued from Iraq

During their advance toward Tikrit, the only major Iraqi city not under U.S.-led coalition control, U.S. Marines rescued seven U.S. prisoners of war. Brig. Gen. John Kelly said the Marines were led to the POWs by an Iraqi policeman. The seven soldiers, who were captured March 24 south of Baghdad, were given first aid and then taken to an air base by Army helicopters. They have all been released from the hospital to undisclosed location.

Looting and chaos began to subside in Baghdad Saturday. Marines are working with Iraqi police to help maintain order. A Marine, however, was killed when two gunmen posing as landscape workers attacked a checkpoint at a medical facility, said a spokesperson at Central Command. One attacker was killed by Marine gunfire. Also in the capital city, Marines found about 50 vests loaded with explosives in a school.

German TV network ZDF taped Lt. Gen. Amir al-Saadi, Hussein’s top science advisor, surrendering to U.S. forces Saturday. The general was No. 55 on the U.S. list of the most wanted Iraqis, the faces of whom U.S. troops now carry on playing cards.

A former Iraqi Air Force colonel reportedly told U.S. military officials that he knew of 120 missiles within an 18-mile radius of Kirkuk. He said 24 of the missiles carry chemical munitions. Military sources say tests on a captured warhead found in Kirkuk showed trace amounts of a nerve agent. Other tests showed nothing.

In a “gradual and measured reduction,” the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier group Abraham Lincoln left the Persian Gulf Saturday. By air, Pfc. Jessica Lynch, the rescued prisoner of war, returned to the United States along with 49 other injured soldiers.

Hussein’s whereabouts are unknown. Many have speculated he might have fled to Syria. An Iraqi who surrendered to U.S. Marines Saturday, told them he performed plastic surgery on the leader and his relatives.

In order to fund Operation Iraqi Freedom and meet other homeland security needs, the U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval Saturday to a nearly $80 billion bill. President George W. Bush is expected to sign it.

Compiled by Sarah Kite

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