Iraqi President Saddam Hussein ordered his troops to kill Egyptians in Iraq in retaliation for Egypt's opposition in the Persian Gulf war, the leading newspaper Al Ahram reported Tuesday.

The newspaper quoted Egyptians who escaped from southern Iraq - one of the early scenes of anti-Saddam unrest - to Kuwait as saying that Saddam has already given orders to kill Egyptians in Iraq.Al Ahram, however, did not give detailed accounts of how many Egyptians have been killed by Saddam's troops during the gulf crisis.

Egypt has contributed nearly 40,000 troops to the gulf as part of the U.S.-led coalition that drove the Iraqi invading forces out of Kuwait.