Iraqi Heat Broils Misery, Violence

A child dives into the Tigris river at the Adamiyha neighborood in Baghdad, Iraq on Sunday Aug. 10, 2003. Bathing in the river brings a little respite for residents of Baghdad whose summer has been especially trying as they have had to cope with foreign occupation of their land, extreme heat at above 50 degrees Celsius (122.00 degrees Fahrenheit), power shortages and long lines at gas stations among many other woes. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
AP
Like many Iraqis, Areej Saad she feels helpless in a country where she says there is no government, and little seems to work, reports CBS News Reporter Lisa Barron.

Her 10-month-old baby Hadeel lies under a mound of dirt with the corpses of other children behinds Baghdad's Baratha Mosque.

Hadeel died yesterday after developing a high fever while teething. Areej says she couldn't find medicine to help. And with daily temperatures of 130 degrees, and limited electricity, the heat was unbearable.

After the baby died, Areej couldn't find a hospital to issue a death certificate.

In Basra, scattered protests over fuel shortages and power cuts caused by intense heat erupted for a second day Sunday.

The extreme heat also led to the death of a U.S. soldier from the 3rd Corps Support Command, who died of heat stroke while traveling in a convoy near the southern city of Diwaniyah on Saturday.

In other news:

  • The Washington Post reports President George Bush and his administration depicted Iraq's nuclear weapons program as more active, more certain and more imminent in its threat than the evidence they had suggested.
  • The New York Times reports the United States covertly persuaded many Iraqi military leaders not to fight in the months leading up to the war. But in interviews, more than half a dozen people with direct knowledge of the events said the United States might have missed an opportunity to stabilize post-war Iraq using the remnants of Saddam's government, the Times reports.

    Attacks on U.S. forces in Baghdad and Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit wounded four American soldiers, the military said. A journalist for an Arab satellite station also was reported wounded.

    In Basra, an Associated Press Television News cameraman saw a protester shot and killed Sunday after an angry crowd surrounded a group of vehicles. It was unclear who was in the cars or who fired the shots.

    About 1,000 residents burned tires and hurled rocks and bricks at British soldiers on Saturday, complaining of frequent power cuts and black-market fuel prices, British military spokesman Capt. Hisham Halawi said.

    He said that four small protests took place Sunday but could not confirm any casualties. Separately, Halawi said British troops came under attack and returned fire. He had no other details.

    He said power cuts were the result of sabotage and extreme heat at above 122. There were long lines at gas stations, and "tempers flared up." British troops were deployed at major gasoline stations "to ensure people get fuel at right price, not black-market price," he said.

    In Baghdad, the U.S. military reported two rocket-propelled grenade attacks on U.S. forces Sunday. There were no casualties in the first attack, but two U.S. soldiers and a reporter were wounded in an attack in the Baghdad University complex. The military said one soldier had recovered and returned to duty.

    Al-Jazeera TV reported one of its cameramen was wounded after the U.S. patrol he was traveling with came under fire at the College of Islamic Sciences.

    In Saddam's hometown of Tikrit, an improvised explosive device wounded two 4th Infantry Division soldiers, the military said.

    A previously unknown group calling itself the Iraqi Resistance vowed in a statement to continue fighting coalition troops in Iraq and said it had no links to Saddam's Baath party. The statement was aired on Al-Jazeera, the Qatar satellite broadcaster,

    "We swear by God, we will we make the whole land of Iraq a graveyard to all those villain invaders," said the statement, read by one of four armed men wearing red-checked Arab headdresses to mask their faces. Two of the four men held rocket-propelled grenade launchers, two held Kalashnikov automatic rifles.

    "We are not remnants of the old regime. They failed to defend Baghdad, but we are sacrificing ourselves for the sake of Iraq," the man said.

    On Saturday, five men claiming to represent three previously unknown groups — the White Banners, Muslim Youth and Mohammed's Army — appeared in a similar video broadcast on the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya satellite channel. Their statement referred to the deaths in recent battles in Baghdad of two "Arab martyrs." Non-Iraqi Arabs have reportedly traveled to Iraq to fight U.S. and British soldiers.

    U.S. military officials have blamed almost daily attacks on their forces on Saddam loyalists, Iraqis angered by a foreign occupation and, increasingly, foreign fighters.

    Taped claims of responsibility have appeared often on Arabic satellite stations since the U.S. invasion. U.S. military officials and terrorism experts say it is impossible to determine whether the self-proclaimed groups are real fighting forces. Terrorism experts say the videos may be aimed at recruiting fighters.