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Burial Plans for Saddam Hussein's Sons to be Announced Monday - 2003-07-27

The Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq says a decision on the burial of the sons of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Uday and Qusay, will be announced within the next 24 hours.

The Coalition Provisional Authority says it will announce the final steps involved in burying Saddam Hussein's sons Monday. U.S. troops killed the two Tuesday in a firefight in the northern city of Mosul.

A coalition spokesman, who asked not to be named, said it had to carry out a number of procedures before the bodies could be buried. Traditionally, Middle Eastern burial practices require that interment take place shortly after death.

The spokesman said it was necessary for the coalition to complete identification procedures involving verifying medical and dental records and conducting DNA testing. It also had to perform autopsies on the two bodies.

The spokesman said the coalition has consulted the Iraqi Governing Council and religious leaders about the appropriate burial of the brothers. The spokesman also said coalition authorities were not aware of any direct approach from relatives of Saddam Hussein's family requesting access to the corpses.

The coalition spokesman said their deaths have removed a significant threat to the stability of Iraq. He reaffirmed that coalition forces remain committed to tracking down Saddam Hussein himself. He said the coalition forces are in for the long haul. We are winning, he says, and we have defeated the enemy. We are now picking off the last pieces of it.

But the spokesman said it is too early to speak of trends in light of the recent attacks on U.S. soldiers carried out by Saddam loyalists. Some observers note that the death toll over the past week since the killing of Saddam's sons has been the highest since U.S. troops arrived in Baghdad in early April.

He cited unpublished successes by the coalition forces in foiling a rocket-propelled grenade ambush Sunday, defusing an explosive device on a bridge in Baghdad and discovering significant weapons caches. The spokesman said the coalition has made major progress in detaining former regime loyalists and receiving intelligence to help quell resistance.