- The Washington Times - Friday, March 28, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq, March 28 (UPI) — Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf said Friday his troops had repulsed two U.S.-British attacks in Najaf and Muthanna in the south of the country and had forced them to retreat back into the desert.

Al-Sahhaf also said he feared coalition forces might use weapons of mass destruction against Iraqi troops.

He said the resignation of Richard Perle, a top Pentagon adviser, was proof the U.S. leadership was becoming confused and was disintegrating.

The Pentagon says though Perle has resigned as chairman of the Defense Policy Board amid an ethics controversy, he will remain a member of the board.

Al-Sahhaf reaffirmed that the strategic port of Umm Qasr was still in Iraqi hands and that an Iraqi woman was leading the resistance there. He counted 75 Iraqi civilians killed and 290 wounded in coalition shelling during the past 24 hours.

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