Iraq will respect rights of PoWs: Saddam

Updated on Mar 22, 2003 11:49 AM IST

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has issued a statement pledging to respect the rights of prisoners of war (PoWs) captured by his forces, Iraqi television said on Saturday.

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PTI | ByReuters, Baghdad

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has issued a statement pledging to respect the rights of prisoners of war (PoWs) captured by his forces, Iraqi television said on Saturday.

"Iraq, out of respect for itself and its humanity...will respect the prisoners of war of the enemy whom we capture," Iraqi television said, reading a statement it said came from Saddam.

"We will respect their rights according to the Geneva Convention."

The state Iraqi News Agency (INA) said on Saturday that Saddam had offered to reward any Iraqi who shot down a US or British aircraft, or killed or captured a pilot or soldier.

INA said an order by Saddam stipulated that any Iraqi fighter shooting down an enemy warplane would be paid 100 million dinars (around $33,000 on the black market) and 50 million for a downed helicopter.

Iraqis would get 50 million dinars for capturing a pilot or soldier and 25 million for killing one, INA said. The reward for shooting down a missile would be 10 million dinars.

Iraqi television has carried several statements it says were made by Saddam since U.S. and British forces launched their attack on Iraq on Thursday.

The war began with a missile strike in Baghdad that US officials say was aimed at killing top Iraqi leaders - including possibly Saddam.

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