us admits '8,000 iraqis captured' claim was false

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    The US military has been forced to admit the 8,000 Iraqi soldiers they claimed to have captured last week are now battling British forces.

    Iraq's 51st Infantry Division, which has about 200 tanks, is now engaged in the southern city of Basra.

    The Pentagon is claiming the confusion is the work of the Fedayeen Saddam - Saddam Hussein's most trusted paramilitary unit.

    The US is accusing it of organising the tactic of posing as civilians and faking surrenders.

    Defence Department officials reported on Friday that they had won the surrender of the entire 51st Division, a regular Iraqi army unit deployed in southern Iraq to defend Basra, the nation's second largest city.

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