Iraqi authorities have admitted several teenage students were arrested in Baghdad for causing "a state of panic" in schools in one of the most serious outbreaks of unrest in Iraq since the Persian Gulf crisis began, Arab news media reported Saturday.

The admission followed unconfirmed reports by travelers from Baghdad to other Arab countries that eight teenage girls had been killed in schoolyard clashes between authorities and dissenting teenagers.Iraqi newspapers said an unspecified number of Iraqi teenagers had been arrested in Baghdad after they distributed leaflets and wrote slogans on school walls, creating what the papers said was "a state of panic."

The newspapers gave no details of the contents of the leaflets or the nature of the slogans. It said the students also made "provocative" phone calls, but did not say to whom.

Egypt's semi-official Middle East News Agency said Iraqi authorities blamed the disturbances on the Kuwaiti resistance, which surfaced after Iraq's Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait. The Iraqi newspapers said the Interior Ministry had asked authorities to prevent further incidents.

Observers say economic sanctions imposed against Iraq for the invasion have caused serious hardships to the Iraqi people, while having little effect on President Saddam Hussein.