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55 Key Iraqi Leaders Wanted by US Troops - 2003-04-11


The U.S. military in the Gulf is distributing photos of 55 key leaders of the Iraqi regime, who are to be captured or killed. Playing cards with names and photos of the leaders are being given to soldiers to help them identify those who are still at large.

Brigadier General Vince Brooks, the Central Command spokesman, did not identify figures on the list, except to suggest that they include Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

General Brooks says the whereabouts of some of the most wanted figures are unknown, while others might well be dead.

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

U.S. forces have twice bombed sites where they believe Saddam Hussein may have been staying, and his fate is still unknown.

General Brooks says Iraqi leaders may be trying to flee to other countries. He says U.S. special forces are monitoring escape routes to Syria and Jordan. And he reports that U.S. special forces destroyed five light aircraft hidden near Tikrit that could have been used by officials trying to flee Iraq.

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