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Breakfast Friday, 4 April, 2003, 05:24 GMT 06:24 UK
US troops take control of Baghdad airport
US soldiers search a man at the entrance to Baghdad airport
US soldiers at the entrance to Baghdad airport
Coalition forces have Baghdad in their sights and US soldiers take control of the city's airport

Breakfast had the latest from the Gulf region. Our correspondent Andrew Gilligan reported from Baghdad.

Caroline Wyatt was in southern Iraq, and we also heard from British journalist Matthew McAllester who was released on Tuesday having been taken prisoner by the Iraqi authorities.

These are the main developments overnight:

  • There has been fighting for control of the Saddam International Airport outside Baghdad. Early on Friday morning, a US commander at the scene said the coalition was now in control of the airport, but there's been no confirmation yet from military headquarters.

  • It is thought that more than 300 Iraqi troops died in the battle to take the airport.

  • British troops are said to be four miles from the centre of Basra

  • Most of Baghdad was without power for the whole of the night. But the American military insists it did not target the city's electricity grid.

  • In Central Iraq a US serviceman has been killed after apparently being mistaken for an Iraqi soldier.

  • And in the United States Congress has approved President Bush's request for fifty billion pounds to fund the war.

    Andrew Gilligan reported from Baghdad for Breakfast


    Our reporter Caroline Wyatt looked how British soldiers prepare for a chemical attack

    Caroline Wyatt
    Gas masks have to be on in nine seconds
    Caroline spoke to Captain James Howard from the Joint Nuclear Biological Chemical Regiment.

    He spoke about the steps soldiers take to protect themselves from attack and how they detect whether a missile is carrying chemical or biological agents.


    We also heard from journalist Matthew McAllester who was held by Iraqi authorities for a week, but released on Tuesday

    Matthew McAllester
    "They were in the business of asking questions"

    Matthew said:

  • He was finishing a story and there was knock on the door, some security men came into his room he was taken outside and arrested.

  • He was taken to Baghdad's most notorious prison where he witnessed other prisoners being beaten.

  • Matthew said he was never told why he was being arrested but thought it was because the Iraqi officials thought he was a spy - now he's been released he said he would come home for a bit but may go back to Iraq.


    Also on the programme, Group Captain Al Lockwood the British forces' spokesman


    And Dan Plesch from the Royal United Services Institute and Alex Standish from Jane's Defence came on the programme to discuss the latest phase of the military operation


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