Time for surrendering arms by Iraqi population is running out

The time given for surrendering arms by the population in Iraq, announced three weeks ago by the command of the occupation forces, is running out. The command made it binding on all Iraqis to hand in all heavy arms - grenade launchers, large-caliber machine guns and submachine guns, and also grenades and explosives.

Iraqis have been allowed to carry at home and at work firearms for self-defense with a caliber not exceeding 7.62 mm (a pistol and a submachine gun). However, it is forbidden, beginning with next Sunday, to appear in the streets with arms. Otherwise all who don't have special permission will be arrested and imprisoned for one year.

Meanwhile, the Al-Kuds Al-Arabi daily issued in London received yet another message signed by Saddam Hussein with threats to stage new terrorist acts against the countries whose servicemen are in Iraq. The authors of the message demand that "all who have come to occupy our country" must leave Iraq before June 17. "So long as they continue to kill Iraqis, we shall fight back," the letter says. June 17 is the day when the Baath party came to power in 1968.

The signature "Saddam Hussein" in the message is identical to the signatures in the other similar messages the paper has received of late, the daily says.

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