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  Defiant Saddam goes on TV in Iraq
Updated 24 March 2003, 16.17
Britsh tanks look on into southern Iraq at destroyed and burning oil well heads
Saddam Hussein has appeared on Iraqi TV and made a defiant speech to his country.

Appearing in his military uniform, he said "victory is near".

It's his second speech of the war, but experts are examining the broadcast to see if it was live or recorded.

That way, they can figure out where Saddam might or might not be.

Missing

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence said two British soldiers are missing in southern Iraq.

They went missing after their vehicle came under heavy fire on Sunday.

The fifth day of fighting saw another night of heavy bombing in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Meanwhile, as coalition troops advance on Baghdad, seven US Marines were killed at Nasiriya and others were shown captive on Iraqi television.

Other main points

  • US forces are now investigating a suspected chemical plant about 160 kilometres south of the capital, near the town of Najaf.

  • The official Syrian news agency says five Syrian civilians have been killed by a US missile near the Iraqi border.

  • The International Red Cross warns of a humanitarian emergency in Basra. A spokesman tells the BBC that water and electricity supplies to the city have been cut off

  • US President George Bush says he expects a massive humanitarian aid programme for Iraq to begin within days.


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