Iraqis React To Sons' Death

Salem Tomeh CBS

The sky over Baghdad is alive with gunfire. It all started at about the time word began to spread across the city that Saddam Hussein's two sons might have been killed by U.S. Forces.

It's not clear if they are shots of anger or jubilation or a combination of both, reports CBS News Correspondent Byron Pitts.

But it remains a night like the city has not seen since days leading up to the fall of Baghdad nearly four months ago -- tracer fire, the rattle of AK-47s, explosions.

Much of the reaction may have been joy, but not in Mosul. In the former Saddam stronghold it was all anger. A crowd pelted soldiers with rocks and the soldiers fired back.

Earlier in the evening U.S. soldiers on patrol said they thought the deaths of Saddam's two sons might signal the end of the kind of random violence that has killed so many Americans in the past several weeks.

'Well, it should mean that we shouldn't be here as long, because once they get the most wanted list captured they can set up a pretty good government and we can get out of here," said one GI.

It was optimism not shared on the street by Iraqi civilians, where the lawless still live amongst the law abiding and those without guns could only standby and watch. People who fear as long as Saddam Hussein is alive their lives are in jeopardy.

"So what the son of Saddam Hussein! Not Saddam himself!" said Saleem Tomah.

Tomah, is a Baghdad accountant; his father a graduate of M.I.T. back in the U.S. He and his family spent the evening behind locked doors and closed curtains.

Still for many, the death of Saddam's sons is welcome news -- a sign better days may be ahead.

"Thank God, an oppressive era has ended," said one man.

But at least for now reality stays the same -- Iraq remains a dangerous place both during the day, and especially at night.

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