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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Rumsfeld Visits Trouble Spot in Iraq

Aired September 5, 2003 - 19:20   ET

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

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld continued his tour of Iraq today. It is his second visit to the region since the ouster of Saddam Hussein.
And as CNN's Ben Wedeman reports, Rumsfeld took a tour of one of the most troublesome spots for American troops.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what he said he wanted to do: Get a firsthand look at how things are going.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld continued his tour of Iraq, dropping in on American troops based in the town of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's ancestral hometown.

Tikrit is one of the most troublesome spots for American forces, the scene of almost daily attacks by foes of the occupation. But Mr. Rumsfeld, traveling under intense security, with a top-secret itinerary and staying well away from ordinary Iraqis, Tikrit could not have been more welcoming. He even picked up a souvenir to take home from the 101st Airborne Brigade, known as the Screaming Eagles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On behalf of all the 21,000 soldiers up here in AOR North right now, I'd like to give you our coin. I got the Screaming Eagle patch on there and I'd ask you to add that to your coin collection and think of the Screaming Eagles.

WEDEMAN: This is Rumsfeld's third visit to Iraq, his second since Saddam's fall.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Baghdad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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