Jubilant Iraqis celebrated in the streets of Baghdad as symbols of Saddam Hussein's regime were toppled, ripped to pieces, and looted. But US commanders said they would not declare a cease-fire until "conditions have been set on the battlefield," citing potentially dangerous pockets of resistance in the capital and warning that Hussein loyalists still posed a threat in Tikrit, the dictator's hometown. Iraqi reinforcements were converging on the latter city, US military briefers said, and the use of chemical or biological weapons there could not be ruled out. Resistance also was expected in the northern cities of Mosul and Kirkuk, the briefers said. But they specified that "much of Iraq is free from years of oppression."
Exiled Iraqis around the world watched TV coverage of the US takeover of their capital with a mixture of joy and disbelief. But many of them told journalists their greatest remaining worry was the possibility that "opportunists" would take Hussein's place. Others said they wouldn't believe the regime had ended until the US produced the dictator's remains.
Another Hamas commander and two of his followers died in a missile strike on their car in Gaza City by an Israeli jet. Saed Arabeed was responsible for terrorist attacks against Israelis stretching back a decade, security officials said. Four bystanders also died in the missile strike. Another Hamas member was among three people killed in a clash with Israeli troops as Palestinians filled the city's streets on hearing the news. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, 29 Palestinian students were hurt when a bomb one of them had found outside their school exploded. Police were investigating whether a previously unknown Jewish extremist group had planted the device.
A prominent Chinese surgeon accused his own government of covering up the full extent of the SARS outbreak, estimating that in Beijing alone the number of cases could be five times higher than admitted. He spoke as two more fatalities from the illness were reported in Hong Kong, pushing the worldwide total to 106. Meanwhile, Malaysia announced a moratorium on entry visas to ethnic Chinese.
The trials of political dissidents by Cuba's communist regime rose to 74, none of them lasting more than one day, the Human Rights Commission in Havana reported. At least 71 of the defendants were found guilty and have been sentenced to prison terms, it said. The remaining verdicts were expected by week's end.