— BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi television showed footage on Monday
of President Saddam Hussein meeting with top aides after the United
States said it stormed into the heart of the capital Baghdad and
grabbed two of Saddam's palace compounds.
The president, wearing military fatigues, was shown sitting in a
room with windows and with wall maps behind him.
Also seen present at the meeting were his younger son and heir
apparent Qusay, Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan and Deputy Prime
Minister Tareq Aziz as well as other senior military officials.
It was not clear when the meeting took place. Elder son Uday was
not shown in the film.
There has been no word on Saddam's whereabouts and there has been
speculation among U.S. officials that he may have been incapacitated
in attacks on Baghdad.
He was unlikely to be anywhere near his official palaces, which
have been hit repeatedly since the start of the U.S.-led war to oust
Taped appearances by Saddam, who never appears live on television
and has not been seen in public for a couple of years, have become
more frequent in recent days as U.S. forces focus their military
campaign on Baghdad.
The Iraqi authorities have been at pains to insist that Saddam is
still in charge and controlling his forces.
On Saturday, the television showed footage of Saddam in a meeting
with his two sons, top aides and military commanders in a windowless
room at a large table.
|Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
sits in front of a wall map during a meeting, in this frame
grab taken from footage aired on Iraqi Television, April 7,
2003. The footage showed Hussein meeting with top aides after
the United States said it stormed into the heart of Baghdad
and grabbed two of Saddam's palace compounds. Photo by Iraqi
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