Sunday, January 29, 2006

Struggle for Iraq continues, new developments

* ABC News co-anchor Bob Woodruff and a cameraman were seriously injured Sunday in an attack and explosion while reporting from Iraq. The two journalists were traveling with U.S. and Iraqi troops near Taji, about 12 miles north of Baghdad, when an improvised explosive device went off, ABC News President David Westin said. Both suffered serious injuries and were taken into surgery at a U.S. military hospital in the area, the network said.
Both Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt were wearing body armor and helmets, the network said. The two had embedded with the 4th Infantry Division and traveling with an Iraqi Army unit. The U.S. military headquarters in Baghdad confirmed that the ABC News team was involved in an attack but declined to provide further details to The Associated Press. An official military statement was expected to be issued later Sunday.

* Elsewhere - Saddam Hussein's trial collapsed into chaos shortly after resuming Sunday, with one defendant dragged out of court and the defense team walking out in protest. The former Iraqi leader was then escorted out after he shouted "down with traitors" (this guy cracks me up as much as Mahmoud, the Iranian president) and refused his new court-appointed lawyers.
The new chief judge, Raouf Abdel-Rahman, pressed ahead with the proceedings even after the opening drama, hearing three prosecution witness, as he sought to assert tight control over the court.
After 4 1/2 hours, the trial was adjourned until Wednesday, though Abdel-Rahman said if that day turns out to be a public holiday, the trial will resume Thursday. The Islamic new year is approaching, but its exact date depends on the sighting of a new moon to start the lunar month.

* Kidnappers in Iraq have renewed their threat to kill four Western hostages unless U.S.-led forces release Iraqi prisoners, Arabic TV network Al-Jazeera reported Saturday.
A new videotape showing the four -- two Canadians, an American and a Briton working with the Christian Peacemaker Teams -- was aired on the Arabic-language news network Saturday, but was dated January 21. However, CNN cannot confirm when the footage was shot.


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