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Kurdish Fighters Capture Former Iraqi Vice President - 2003-08-19


A U.S. military spokesman confirms that deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's vice president has been arrested in northern Iraq.

An army spokesman in Baghdad told VOA that former Iraqi vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan has been taken prisoner by coalition forces.

Mr. Ramadan was arrested in the northern town of Mosul, where he was born. Troops from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan caught Mr. Ramadan dressed as a peasant and handed him over to U.S. troops.

Mosul is also where Saddam Hussein's two sons were killed in a raid last month.

Mr. Ramadan was Saddam Hussein's right-hand man before the fall of the former regime and was a member of the powerful Revolutionary Command Council. He is the 20th most wanted on the list of Iraqis from the former regime. His face appears on the 10 of Diamonds on the pack of cards issued by American forces depicting the most wanted Iraqi.

Many Iraqis want Mr. Ramadan to be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity. He has been accused of being instrumental in the bloody suppression of uprisings of the Kurds in the north and against Shiites in southern Iraq following the first gulf war.

He was also fiercely loyal to Saddam Hussein and part of his government since the regime came to power in 1979.

Mr. Ramadan's arrest is the 38th on the U.S. military's list of 55 and comes as a boost for the United States following a week of guerilla attacks against coalition forces and the country's infrastructure.

A U.S. soldier died Monday after an explosive device was detonated. Improvised explosive devices using artillery shells and other munitions have been frequently used to target military convoys throughout Iraq.

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