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Iraq says Baghdad will be coalition's graveyard

Al-Sahaf says coalition forces are failing to make progress in Iraq.

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's information minister says Baghdad will be the "graveyard" of coalition forces and that they will lose "even if they bring double American troops."

"Americans are now in disarray," Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf said on Al-Jazeera television Thursday.

"They try to engage the world as much as they can and we will continue until they leave our land."

At Najaf, where coalition officials and embedded reporters say the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division has secured a bridge over the Euphrates River and is preparing a drive in the direction of Baghdad, Sahaf said coalition forces "were defeated badly."

"They are again in the dirt in the desert," he said.

The minister appeared almost nonchalant about the prospects of coalition forces reaching Baghdad.

"They will try to enter Baghdad, and I think this is where their graveyard will be," he said. "Their objective is to get to the outskirts of Baghdad. So be it."

"We will see how the issue will turn out when they come to Baghdad."

Sahaf said that American and British forces were doing as much as they could to distract the world from the "crimes they're committing by shelling civilians" and from their failure to make any progress against Iraqi forces.

Iraq, he said, will "spread them even more and chop them up." (Coalition POWs and MIAs)

Coalition officials flatly deny charges that they are targeting civilians, although they say Iraq places military equipment close to civilian areas in hopes of seeing coalition bombs kill civilians.

The coalition also charges Iraq with bombing its own people and blaming it on the coalition.

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