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Australian Paper Obtains Tape Purportedly Made by Hussein

May 08, 2003|From Times Wire Services

SYDNEY, Australia — An Australian newspaper said Wednesday that it had been given an audiotape of a message reputed to be from deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein calling on his people to fight foreign occupation.

The Sydney Morning Herald said it received the 15-minute tape from two men in Baghdad on Monday.

There was no way to confirm if the tired-sounding voice on the tape was that of Hussein, although the accent and phrasing were akin to that of the ousted leader.

The speaker tells Iraqis to "face the invaders and kick them out from Iraq."

"It sounds as if we have to go back to the secret style of struggle that we began our life with," the speaker says, according to the Herald's translation.

In what might establish that the recording was made recently, the speaker notes that some Iraqis had celebrated Hussein's 66th birthday April 28, even though he was no longer in power.

The fate of Hussein, who was targeted twice by airstrikes in the war, is unknown.

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