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(CBS) The U.S. Air Force has hit Iraqi TV with an experimental electronmagetic pulse device called the "E-Bomb" in an attempt to knock it off the air and shut down Saddam Hussein's propaganda machine, CBS News Correspondent David Martin reports.
The highly classified bomb creates a brief pulse of microwaves powerful enough to fry computers, blind radar, silence radios, trigger crippling power outages and disable the electronic ignitions in vehicles and aircraft.
Iraqi satellite TV, which broadcasts 24 hours a day outside Iraq, went off the air around 4:30 a.m. local time (8:30 p.m. ET Tuesday). Iraq's domestic television service was not broadcasting at the time.
Officially, the Pentagon does not acknowledge the weapon's existence. Asked about it at a March 5 news conference at the Pentagon, Gen. Tommy Franks said: “I can't talk to you about that because I don't know anything about it.”
The use of the secret weapon came on a day that saw intense action on the battlefield. The Pentagon said the U.S. Seventh Cavalry killed between 150 and 500 Iraqis after being attacked by rocket-propelled grenades near An Najaf in central Iraq. There are no reported American casualties.