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  Saddam tells soldiers to fight hard on TV
Updated 04 April 2003, 21.56
Saddam Hussein makes his speech on Iraqi TV
Iraq's leader Saddam Hussein has apparently made two appearances on Iraq TV.

They came just hours after US troops took control of Baghdad's main airport after heavy fighting.

He was first seen making a speech telling Iraqi soldiers to hit back hard against coalition troops who are now surrounding Baghdad.

US officials are not sure when or where the speech was recorded. But they say he referred to a US Apache helicopter shot down on 24 March.

This might mean it was made after the air strike which was aimed at him on the first night of the war.

Rare

Saddam was then seen in fuzzy TV pictures being mobbed by cheering crowds of people while he visited bombed areas of Baghdad.

The TV station said it had been filmed on Friday.

But US officials say even before the war, it was very rare for Saddam to be seen out in the open because of security worries.

They say they cannot be sure it was actually him and not a lookalike.

If it is him, it will be the first time he's been seen in public since the war began on 20 March.

Earlier on Friday, Iraq's information minister went on TV to talk to reporters.

Soldiers check out Iraqi military buildings
Soldiers check out Iraqi military buildings

He claimed the coalition forces were surrounded by Iraqi soldiers at the airport.

And he added they would use "unconventional action" on the US soldiers.

But he told reporters this didn't mean they would use chemical or biological weapons.

Other main points:

  • Electricity is back on in some parts of Baghdad, 24 hours after its power supplies were cut
  • US President George W Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair are to meet for talks on Iraq next week
  • The first convoy of UN emergency food aid has crossed into northern Iraq from Turkey
  • Red Cross lorries carrying medical aid are on their way to Basra from Kuwait
  • US soldiers claim to have found boxes full of white powder and liquid in a "suspicious site" south of Baghdad.


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