The U.S. coalition commander in Iraq said Tuesday Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusai, have been killed.
Gunfire crackled through the streets of Baghdad late Tuesday apparently in reaction to the deaths of Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusay, announced by a senior America general.
U.S. Army Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez said that Saddam Hussein's heir apparent and eldest son were among the four people killed in a fierce six-hour firefight Tuesday in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul.
"We've used multiple sources to identify the individuals," he pointed out. "They resisted the detention and the efforts of the coalition forces to go in there and apprehend them and they were killed in the ensuing gunfight and attacks on the residence."
He said U.S. troops from the 101st Airborne Division, tipped by an Iraqi informant, used rockets and gunfire to storm a palatial villa where top Baathist officials were believed to be meeting.
Lieutenant General Sanchez said the search continues for Saddam Hussein.
"We remain focused on finding, fixing, killing or capturing all members of the high value target list," he stressed.
Lieutenant General Sanchez says the killing of Uday and Qusay would impact recent guerrilla attacks by Baath party sympathizers on coalition troops. Uday led the Saddam Fedayeen group believed to be behind a number of the assaults, while Uday led the Special Republican Guard, an elite unit that guarded the family.
General Sanchez said the bodies of Saddam's sons were in a condition that could be identified even before DNA testing which is currently taking place.