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AFTER THE WAR

Steer Clear of Troops and Arms, Iraqis Told

May 04, 2003|From Associated Press

BAGHDAD — U.S.-led forces on Saturday implored parents in Baghdad to keep children away from unexploded ordnance and avoid approaching American military vehicles, warning of potential attacks by supporters of "the big traitor Saddam Hussein."

The allied radio station Voice of New Iraq, in broadcasts throughout the day, said cooperation would help create a more secure city for Baghdadis and American troops.

Any "strange objects in the streets" should be avoided because they might explode, the announcer said. "They are war leftovers," she said. There have been reports in recent weeks of people being wounded by bomb fragments and other weapons.

"Please warn your children not to gather around coalition military vehicles in the streets," the broadcast said. "They may be exposed to the fires of the terrorists and the dirty residue left by the enemy of Iraq and Iraqis, the big traitor Saddam Hussein."

Iraqis were also reminded not to carry weapons and thus "risk their lives."

In the absence of any authoritative voice that reaches most Iraqis, two allied radio stations -- Information Radio, which uses formal Arabic, and Voice of New Iraq, which uses a more colloquial version -- are trying to fill the gap.

Meanwhile, the military took steps to protect itself in Baghdad. In a briefing at the 94th Engineer Battalion, service personnel were told that U.S. troops had been forbidden to buy drinks or cigarettes from street vendors because of rumors of poisoned or tainted goods.

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