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Rockets hit one of Saddam's palaces

Al-Sahhaf acknowledged that one of Saddam's homes was hit in Thursday's bombing, though he said no one was hurt.

world Updated: Mar 21, 2003 17:14 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press

Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Sa'eed al-Sahhaf acknowledged on Friday that one of Saddam Hussein's homes was hit in Thursday's bombing, though he said no one was hurt. "They rocketed the residence of his household," he said. "But thank God they are all safe," he told reporters in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital.

Al-Sahhaf said that the Iraqis had destroyed two helicopters in the fighting that began with a bombardment of the capital on Thursday. He also denied that the southern Iraqi city of Umm Qasr had been taken.

"They are superpower of villains. They are superpower of Al Capone," he said. "We will not allow them to get out of this quagmire which we trapped them in. They will see their end there." Standing next to him in military uniform was Interior Minister Mahmoud Diab al-Ahmed, carrying a Kalashnikov and wearing a flak jacket with a knife in the pocket, a pistol on his hip, and carrying Kalashnikov magazines.

"Some of you might may be wondering why do I have a Kalashnikov in my hand and wearing a flak jacket. Because we have all in Iraq pledged never to relinquish our weapons until the day of victory." Sahhaf also denied that the television images of Iraqis surrendering were accurate and argued that the reports were fabricated.

"Those are not Iraqi soldiers at all," he said. "Where did they bring them from?"

Sahhaf also denied any US-led advance into Iraq.

First Published: Mar 21, 2003 17:14 IST