TSR: "Well, welcome to the war..."
WOLF BLITZER: And there was a very dramatic example of the new surge in American casualties today, right in the heart of the Iraqi capital.
Joining us now, our correspondent in Baghdad, Michael Ware. Michael, as we're speaking now, it looks like there's been some sort of incident or maybe even a significant battle right in central Baghdad. What do we know?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, welcome to the war, Wolf. What we know, at this stage, from the U.S. military is that at about 7:00 a.m. this morning, local time, here in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi forces were conducting what the military said was a routine cordon and search. That means they surround an area and then go essentially knocking door-to-door, searching, looking for weapons, bad guys, that sort of thing.
Now, at some point a group of insurgents opened fire on these American and Iraqi forces with small arms. By the end of the battle, there was four Iraqi soldiers dead, and only three insurgents dead, but in the meantime, 16 American soldiers had been wounded. Now, we don't know how bad, if any of them are critical. But 16 American soldiers, two more Iraqi soldiers wounded, and reports of a child who was wounded. Helicopters were called in for help. They got shot up a little bit, had to go home and land, and then they took to the air again. I mean, this is happening in Iraq. It just happened right in the center of the capital and it couldn't be missed.
BLITZER: And also happening today, a suicide bombing, this one involving an Iraqi woman. What do we know about this incident?
WARE: Well, we've seen this before, unfortunately. I mean, it's an infrequent phenomenon, but it's certainly not unheard of, the use of female suicide bombers. Now, though American soldiers are constantly trying to maintain their guard, one can't help but be less suspicious of a woman, given that most of the hostilities here are conducted by the men.
What we know is that this woman with explosives strapped to her body walks into a crowd of men who have come to join the police in the province of Diyala, just north of the capital here in Baghdad, in a small town known as Muqdadiya. Muqdadiya used to be a fairly mixed Sunni/Shia kind of place. But I haven't been there for some time. My friends who are still there tell me that most of the Shia have been driven out. Why? Because like much of Diyala, it's become an al Qaeda stronghold. So this looks like al Qaeda hitting back at anyone who dares to join the police and work with the occupier.
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I originally cut the end of this segment for obvious reasons, but now that Michael has gone public with the fact that he has a son, here is the clip of Jack Cafferty’s comments that immediately followed Michael’s report:
BLITZER: Let's go to Jack Cafferty, Jack Cafferty is in New York. Michael Ware, he's got a unique perspective. You know why, because he's been there for four years. Can you imagine, Jack, risking your life for four years to bring readers, first for "Time" magazine, now for our viewers around the world, these incredible stories.
JACK CAFFERTY: No. And I got a chance to meet him when he was on break here a while ago and he came by New York and in addition to being a good reporter, he's a terrific guy, a nice man. Got a young son that he's absolutely devoted to, and he's bringing us, I think, probably the best coverage of the war in Iraq, of anybody in the, at least in the broadcast media. My humble opinion.
BLITZER: I agree.