Iraqi Dissidents Turn to Sabotage

Open acts of defiance by opponents of Saddam Hussein’s regime have intensified in the past week, with saboteurs carrying out attacks against Iraq’s railway system and protesters openly calling for the overthrow of the Iraqi dictator.

The most blatant act of sabotage took place 20 miles south of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, where members of the Iraqi opposition blew up a stretch of track on the Mosul-Baghdad railway, causing the derailment of a train. “Until recently such acts of open defiance were very rare and were dealt with harshly,” a Foreign Office official commented yesterday. “But as Saddam concentrates his energies on trying to protect his regime from attack, Iraqi opposition groups are becoming more audacious in their attacks.” Before fleeing back to their base in Kurdistan, the saboteurs left piles of leaflets by the side of the track urging the Iraqi soldiers who were sent to investigate the explosion to join the “international alliance to liberate Iraq” from “Saddam the criminal.” In a separate incident, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at a train illegally transporting fuel from Baghdad to Syria. The only area where Saddam can rely with confidence on the loyalty of his security forces is in the Ba’ath Party’s heartland around Baghdad. In an attempt to reassert his authority, Saddam issued a directive last week ordering Iraqi officials not to give up their positions and flee the country. Full Story

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