The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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War message on secret tape

Sydney, May 7 (Reuters): An Australian newspaper said today it had been handed an audiotape in Baghdad of a message, possibly from ousted leader Saddam Hussein, calling on the Iraqi people to wage a “secret” war against US forces.

The Sydney Morning Herald said it was handed the tape on Monday after the people in possession of it failed to pass it on to Arabic cable news network al-Jazeera.

It said it would make the tape available to US authorities and also to al Jazeera.

“The Herald played the tape, allegedly recorded two days ago, to an Australian linguistics expert and to more than a dozen Iraqis.

“The overwhelming opinion was that the voice and rhetoric were very similar, or identical, to Saddam’s,” the paper said.

In a 15-minute monologue, a tired-sounding voice, interspersed with coughs, tells Iraqis how 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 voice said, according to the Herald’s translation.

“Through this secret means, I am talking to you from inside great Iraq and I say to you, the main task for you, Arab and Kurd, Shia and Sunni, Muslim and Christian and the whole Iraqi people of all religions, your main task is to kick the enemy out of the country.”

Two men gave the newspaper the tape on Monday after seeing its vehicle, marked “press”, near the Palestine Hotel.

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