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Former Iraqi Deputy PM Tariq Aziz in US Custody - 2003-04-24


U.S. forces have in custody another top former Iraqi official, Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz.

Tariq Aziz was only number 43 on the U.S. military's list of Iraq's 55 most wanted former regime leaders.

But he was perhaps one of the most recognizable former Iraqi officials because he spoke English and often acted as Baghdad's main conduit with the West.

Chief Pentagon spokesperson Victoria Clarke confirms he was taken into U.S. custody late Thursday. Pentagon sources say intermediaries first approached U.S. officials in Baghdad Wednesday to discuss his surrender.

Mr. Aziz had served as Iraq's foreign minister during the 1991 Gulf war.

He was the only Christian in Saddam Hussein's inner circle. U.S. officials say he had virtually no power.

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