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Iraq throws out world rules on POWs

Iraq will not apply international conventions on prisoners of war, Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf says.

Mr al-Sahaf has told a press conference coalition troops are not soldiers and instead called them mercenaries to whom international law does not apply.

"They are a superpower of Al Capone. Al Capone really is the typical official American," he said.

"This villain in the White House, this is the level of his attacks in Iraq. We are not going to give him the chance or other villains around him. We will continue to capture his villains, his mercenaries, and he will face the tragedy."

Saddam survived

Earlier, al-Sahaf said Iraqi President Saddam Hussein survived US air raids that targeted his family's houses earlier today.

He said coalition forces did not succeed in their efforts and all members of Saddam's family are safe and he said Iraq will fight to the end.

Meanwhile, CIA analysis has found an address by Saddam Hussein aired after a US strike aimed at top Iraqi leaders was "likely" genuine but operatives are unsure when it was made.

A US intelligence official says the assessment was based on the latest technical analysis of the tape, but he declined to say how the evaluation was reached.

With uncertainty surrounding the fate of Saddam, speculation has centred on whether a "body double" of the Iraqi leader may have been used in the recording.

No surrender

In a written statement, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein says his army will not surrender to US forces.

"The Iraqi people and their armed forces are ready to resist any attack," Saddam said, being quoted by state television, despite "US-British enemy propaganda to weaken their morale."

"A curse on anyone who says the Iraqi army and people would joyfully welcome your aggressiveness and the forces under your orders and rejoice."

The Iraqi leader was referring to US efforts to persuade ordinary Iraqi soldiers in particular not to resist the invaders.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claims to have proof many Iraqi soldiers will defect.

Mr Rumsfeld pledged military action of unprecedented scale against Iraq but says it could be limited if Iraqi forces surrender in large numbers.

A US marine officer has reported 25 Iraqi soldiers have surrendered to American troops as they entered Iraq.

US and British forces have crossed the Kuwait border into southern Iraq and are advancing north.

They are reporting little resistance after warplanes launched a second round of selective strikes in Baghdad.


Saddam Hussein is offering cash prizes of tens of thousands of dollars for soldiers who down "enemy" planes and kill or capture invading US-led troops, the state news agency has reported.

"Any valiant Iraqi fighter who shoots down an enemy warplane will be rewarded with the amount of 100 million dinars ($US33,333)" in line with new orders by the Iraqi strongman, INA reported.

"Anyone who captures an enemy soldier will be rewarded with 50 million dinars and anybody who kills an enemy soldier will be rewarded with 25 million dinars," it said.

Audio Related Audio

It has been reported that sime US intelligence officials believe Saddam Hussein was inside a presidential compound that has been hit with cruise missiles. But is he dead, injured or alive and well?

Members of the Iraqi leadership have responded to the second day of Coalition attacks with a message of defiance.

Despite reports of mass defections, it seems there are still plenty of Iraqis loyal to their President.

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