Iraqi resistance will continue, says Hoon

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The capture of deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was a "brilliant coalition effort" but would not end armed resistance. Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said today.

And he said that the former dictator was being held "under terms consistent with the Geneva Convention and international law".

Responding to Tory acclaim of the "brilliant coup" pulled off by British forces in the operation, he said: "This was a brilliant coalition effort by both military and intelligence forces on the ground in Iraq."

Shadow defence secretary Nicholas Soames also asked about the status of Saddam.

"Are you satisfied that as he has been categorised a prisoner of war, that therefore under the Geneva Convention will he be able to be properly interrogated?" he asked.

Mr Hoon simply said that the ex–Iraqi leader was being held "under terms consistent" with the Geneva Convention and international law.

Asked whether the capture would end armed resistance to coalition troops, he said: "Obviously we would hope now that those who have so far supported Saddam should end that support and recognise that we are all engaged in a determined effort to rebuild Iraq.

"The scenes of celebration by Iraqi people once they learned the news of Saddam Hussein's capture is testament to that.

"But we have to recognise that there will still be some elements, not just from within Iraq but others coming into the country, who will continue the campaign against coalition forces.

"They have to be defeated."