Iraqis urged to fight on in second 'Saddam' tape

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The Independent Online

An audiotape purporting to contain the voice of Saddam Hussein was broadcast yesterday, urging Iraqis to continue a "holy war" against the US and British troops. While the voice could not be immediately authenticated, a former Iraqi official said it sounded like that of Saddam.

The voice said the tape had been recorded three days earlier, and had been made to mark the 35th anniversary of the coup in which the Baath Party seized power in Iraq.

The recording - the second believed to have been made by Saddam since he was ousted from power in April - criticised the new Governing Council of Iraq and said President Bush and Tony Blair had lied to the world to justify war.

The US believes Saddam is still living in Iraq. There is concern that while he is at large he acts as a focus for resistance fighters. There is a $25m [£15.6m] reward for information leading to his capture.

In the recording, the voice said the Governing Council had no mandate. He said it was "created by the will of the foreigners, therefore it was the servant of the foreigner and not a servant of the people. Anything issued by the occupation is to weaken Iraq." It added: "The only solution ... is a jihad to resist the occupation."