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April 11, 2003
 
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(AP Photo)
U.S. Issues Most Wanted Iraqi List
U.S. Military Distributes List of 55 Iraqi Leaders to Pursue, Kill or Capture

The Associated Press


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The U.S. military has issued a most-wanted list of 55 former leaders in Saddam Hussein's regime to be pursued, captured or killed.

The list, in the form of a "deck of cards" with pictures of the wanted figures, was distributed to the thousands of U.S. troops in the field to help them find the senior members of the government. It also was being put on posters and handbills for the Iraqi public, Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks said.

Brooks did not identify figures on the list, except to suggest they included Saddam and his minister of information, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, who boasted of battlefield successes right up to the time he disappeared Tuesday.

"There are jokers in this deck, there is no doubt about that," Brooks said.

He said the whereabouts of some of the most-wanted figures were unknown, while others might well be dead.

"The population will probably confirm that for us," he said.

"The key list has 55 individuals who may be pursued, killed or captured, and the list does not exclude leaders who may have already been killed or captured," Brooks said.

The U.S. forces have twice bombed sites where they believe Saddam may have been staying, and his fate is still unknown. One key figure who British and U.S. officials believe is dead is Ali Hassan al-Majid, a former Iraqi defense chief known as "Chemical Ali" for his role in the 1988 chemical weapons attacks on Iraqi Kurds.

Brooks also said that U.S. forces found and destroyed five small airplanes covered by camouflage netting along Highway 1 near the northern city of Tikrit, Saddam's birthplace.

The planes, he said, could have been used for escape or to distribute weapons of mass destruction.

Brooks was asked about U.S. efforts to control looting in Baghdad and other cities, and said that U.S. troops would act to control the situation but would not be used as a police force.

"At no time do we really see becoming a police force," he said, adding that at some point there would be a replacement force for the Saddam government police.

"We have to be patient with that. We are not exercising the same kind of grip over the population that the regime had," he said.


photo credit and caption:
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks points to take a question during a news briefing at the Central Command Centre in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, April 8, 2003. Brooks updated the media on the latest progress being made during the war on Iraq. (AP Photo/Richard Lewis)

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
 
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