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US Cites Increasing Surrender Offers from Iraqi Troops


A senior Pentagon official says there are signs U.S. efforts to get Iraqi troops to surrender without a fight are having increasing success.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the war with Iraq is going very well following airstrikes that targeted the country's leaders. He makes the comment after emerging from a classified Congressional briefing.

Mr. Rumsfeld gives no elaboration and there is still no hard word on whether Saddam Hussein has been killed.

But earlier in the day, Mr. Rumsfeld told reporters U.S. authorities have been engaged in surrender talks with officials of Iraq's military at various levels, including the Republican Guard and Special Republican Guard, both previously considered loyal to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Pentagon officials are offering no details.

But one senior defense official indicates the military's overall effort to get Iraqi troops to give up in large numbers is paying off, a move that could forestall a large-scale "shock and awe" offensive by U.S.-led coalition forces.

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