AFP reports that as U.S. Marines rolled into northeast Baghdad, 150 Iraqi children were freed from a prison in which they had reportedly been held for up to five years:
“Hundreds of kids were swarming us and kissing us,” Lieutenant Colonel Fred Padilla said.
“There were parents running up, so happy to have their kids back.”
“The children had been imprisoned because they had not joined the youth branch of the Baath party,” he alleged. “Some of these kids had been in there for five years.”
The Marines came under fire from snipers; when they fired back, two civilians were wounded. But a friend of one of the two accidentally wounded men “said he did not resent the Americans despite the shooting. ‘Americans are coming to free us,’ he told AFP.”
Some of the freed Iraqi children are shown below.
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