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[casi] Loyal troops cordon off Baghdad

Sulaimaniya, Iraq Press, July 27, 2002  Emergency troops have put up a cordon around the Iraqi 
capital Baghdad, following reports of a
possible infiltration by armed opposition groups.

Residents arriving here told Iraq Press that Baghdad was now ringed with patrols manned by members 
of the Special Security force led by President Saddam Hussein's younger son, Qusai.

Meantime, additional checkpoints have sprang up at major roads leading to Baghdad, they said.

They said Saddam Commandos, a feared militia force headed by Saddam's elder son, Udai, has mounted 
a massive campaign to hunt army deserters.

The authorities are said to be seriously concerned over the high desertion rates. An amnesty, which 
Saddam issued early this month, seems to have gone unheeded.

Military police statistics, obtained by Iraq Press, show that at least 10 percent of conscripts are 
currently at large and many more are feared toflee their units once the United States moves against 
Iraq to bring down Saddam's government.

According to U.S. media reports, the Bush administration is moving forward aggressively with 
planning to oust Saddam, laying the ground work for a possible U.S.-led invasion .

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