The U.S. Central Command in Iraq has announced the capture of two high-ranking officials of the ousted Saddam Hussein regime. They are identified as Ba'ath Party Deputy Secretary Latif Nusayyif al-Jasim al-Dulaymi, and Brigadier General Hussein al-Awadi of the Chemical Corps. More than two dozen former high officials remain at large. As VOA-TV's David Cohler reports, pro-Saddam holdouts continue to stage hit-and-run attacks against U.S. occupation forces.
In an effort to curb the attacks, U.S. army troops swept through an area north of Baghdad for a second straight day. They confiscated weapons and arrested nearly 400 people suspected of being Ba'ath party loyalists or pro-Saddam militiamen. The Central Command says a U.S. soldier was killed Tuesday by a rocket-propelled grenade fired at a weapons collection point in Baghdad. Another soldier was critically wounded when two men jumped from a van and fired rocket-propelled grenades. U.S. military leaders say it could take several more months to rid Iraq of pro-Saddam military elements. That assessment was echoed Wednesday by General Tim Cross, a senior British official in the U.S.-led administration:
GEN. TIM CROSS, COALITION SENIOR OFFICIAL
"There are bound to be difficult days. What we're dealing with here, we're dealing with 30 years of, and I don't want to overplay it, but it is a tyrannical regime."
Occupation officials are hoping a new indigenous police force will take over civilian security matters. The force has been purged of its Ba'ath Party members, and its new chief, Brigadier Ahmed, took command Wednesday. His priority is to end the looting and street crime that have plagued the capital since coalition forces captured the city.