Date :3/22/03 1:50:00 PM
  No.: 17
llll bbbb SPA-17-politics/Britain: regular Iraqi forces pull out of Basra LONDON, Mar 22, SPA -- Regular Iraqi forces have withdrawn from Basra but elements of Saddam Hussein's security forces arecontinuing to resist, British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoonsaid Saturday. "As last night's dramatic television coverage showed, thelights stayed on in Baghdad, but the instruments of tyrannyare collapsing," Hoon said. "Certainly our forces are close to Basra. It appears tobe the case that regular Iraqi armed forces have withdrawnfrom Basra, but there are continuing elements of Saddam'ssecurity services in position maintaining resistance,"Hoon added at a news briefing. Britain's senior military commander said forces whichseized control of oil fields in southern Iraq are nowworking to clear explosives which had been left behind.--SPA1355 Local Time 1055 GMT

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