LDT: Recap

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Length: 2:24

LOU DOBBS: We turn first to Michael Ware -- Michael.

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, in the hours that have followed this stunning kidnap operation conducted under the very noses of the tens of thousands of American and Iraqi troops in the capital, Baghdad, a number of Iraqi police commanders responsible for this part of the city are now being interrogated. And perhaps, some might say, for good reason.


WARE (voice-over): Iraqi security forces move into to seal off a Baghdad university building, but like so much in Iraq, it's too little too late. Just a short time earlier, about 80 gunmen in similar army or police uniforms had also set up a cordon before pouring inside this four-story research institute claiming to be on official business, segregating men from women, and within 20 minutes, escaping in a convoy of more than 20 vehicles, taking the men hostage. The exact number, unknown; police saying as many as 60, a government minister saying it's up to 100. The only ones left behind, the distraught women.

This sophisticated raid, executed at 10:00 a.m., just after rush hour, was audacious. So many gunmen, so many hostages, possibly the largest mass kidnapping of the war. All within the heart of the capital, with more than 60,000 American and Iraqi troops on the streets.

The breathtaking scale of the kidnapping a counterpoint to the previous day's visit by America's top commander in the region, General John Abizaid. Preparing to brief Congress, the general's quick trip was designed to show U.S. support for Iraq's ailing government. And according to Iraqi officials, to press for rehabilitation of the country's security forces.

Need for that rehabilitation illustrated by the next morning's kidnappings. A clear sign of either the government's inability to control its own forces or its weakness in the face of an unwavering and robust insurgency, that in the first 13 days of November has already claimed the lives of more than 30 American servicemen.

Michael Ware, CNN, Baghdad.