The Iraqi authorities accused U.S.-led invasion forces on Wednesday of kidnapping local civilians and showing them off as captured prisoners of war.
A communique read out by a military spokesman on Iraqi state television said U.S. and British forces advancing through southern Iraq had broken the rules of war by displaying Iraqi civilians as POWs at Umm Qasr and near Basra.
"(This was) to show public opinion they had seized military men...particularly after they promised their people that the Iraqi army, leadership and people would surrender after a few days," the communique said.
"We hold the Americans and the British responsible for violating international laws and conventions by detaining civilians and considering them as prisoners of war."
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday coalition forces have taken in "excess of 3,500 Iraqi prisoners." (Albawaba.com)