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Tip About Hussein Fails to Pan Out

U.S. soldiers raid a house but don't find the ex-Iraqi leader. However, they detain five men.

August 21, 2003|From Associated Press

ABBARAH, Iraq — U.S. soldiers operating on a tip that Saddam Hussein was hiding in a farmhouse took five men into custody today but did not find the former Iraqi leader.

An informant told soldiers from the 588th Engineer Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, on Wednesday that Hussein was in the house in this town not far from Baqubah, 30 miles northeast of Baghdad.

The tip proved false or late, but the five men captured in the raid were being questioned. One soldier was shot in the arm as the battalion left the village but was not in serious condition, military authorities said on condition of anonymity.

They said the house that was raided was owned by an alleged Hussein loyalist, Khalid Dosh. It was not immediately known whether he was among those detained.

The U.S. military has said it has Hussein on the run, forcing him to change locations every three to four hours. The search for the former Iraqi leader has focused on the region around his hometown of Tikrit, about 100 miles north of Baghdad.

His sons Uday and Qusai were killed July 22 in a ferocious firefight in Mosul, 225 miles north of Baghdad.

Although U.S. forces have acted on a number of tips that Hussein had been sighted, none of the raids conducted in search of him have panned out.

Officers with the 4th Infantry said a second informant told them that two wanted men, Hussein Ali Taha and Haji Abed, also were in the house that was raided. It was unclear whether the pair were among the five detained, nor did the military say why the men were wanted.

U.S. officials in Iraq have said they believe the resistance to the occupation of the country will diminish once Hussein is caught and citizens no longer fear he might return to power.

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