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Self-Proclaimed Mayor of Baghdad Taken into US Custody - 2003-04-27


Iraq's former chief liaison with U.N. inspectors has turned himself over to U.S. forces. Lt. Gen. Hossam Mohammed Amin's name was on the U.S. list of most wanted associates of Saddam Hussein. In addition, U.S. forces have detained the self-declared mayor of the capital.

U.S. forces have arrested Mohammed Mohsen Zubaidi and seven of his aides and removed them from Baghdad. That ends Mr. Zubaidi's attempt to run the city.

In the power vacuum that followed the end of the war, Mr. Zubaidi proclaimed himself mayor of Baghdad. He has described himself as a volunteer, but never discouraged the perception he had U.S. approval to do the job.

U.S. officials insist he has no U.S. support and no authority to act as mayor.

Mr. Zubaidi had set up an office in a central hotel and sent letters warning people not to go back to work at banks, power, water, and sewage facilities unless he approved it.

He also has been collecting job applications from thousands of Iraqis anxious to get back to work. Many say they thought he was supported by the American military.

That has created confusion and complicated U.S. efforts to get civil servants to return to their jobs.

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