• Short Summary

    Hundreds of thousands
    of Iraqis acclaimed Premier Kassem as he left Alsalam hospital, Baghdad. Dec. 3,

  • Description

    Hundreds of thousands
    of Iraqis acclaimed Premier Kassem as he left Alsalam hospital, Baghdad. Dec. 3,
    where he had been recovering from an assassination attempt on Oct. 7.

    Police and troops forced a way through the for the smiling, uniformed leader.

    After 56 days in hospital "The Lion of Iraq" returned to his lair, and in an
    aggressive mood.

    He was driven to the Defence Ministry, along Rashid Street where the number
    attempt was made. Dec. 3 and 4 were declared feast days, and the capital
    acquired a carnival mood - no fares were charged on buses; doctors treated
    patients free: some cafes gave free drink and food.

    The following day, Dec. 4, there was a 10-hour procession and popular
    demonstration outside the Defence Ministry - Kassem's has headquarters. Groups
    from nearly every profession, organization a and association took part -
    journalists, Boy Scouts, Women's Rights League, doctors, National Council of
    Peace Partisans, farmers, teachers, engineers, tailors.

    They carried banners and photographs of Kassem: they chanted good wishes to
    their leader and denounced his enemies. Five times Kassem came out on to a
    balcony to watch this loyalty demonstration and saluted with his wounded right
    hand - much to the crowds delight.

    But under this veneer of celebration and thanksgiving, lurks the signs of
    another Iraqi crisis. The Nationalists - allegedly the would-be assassins - are
    out of favour in Iraq; over 1,000 have been jailed recently. And there is common
    talk of another murder attempt against Kassem. The Premier has taken a wise
    precaution though - he has bought a bullet-proof Russian sedan.

    While in hospital Premier Kassem told of his plans for GBP400-million
    development projects to make Iraq the strongest Arab nation in the Middle East.

    When this money is coming from is uncertain. Present oil revenues contribute
    about GBP95-million to the nation's treasury. But Kassem has asked the Iraq Oil
    Company to surrender 60% of its concession areas.

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    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
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