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Report: Analysts Believe Saddam is Alive, Hiding in Iraq
VOA News
20 Jun 2003, 12:49 UTC

A U.S. newspaper report says intelligence analysts now believe Saddam Hussein survived the war against his regime and is being sheltered by supporters somewhere in Iraq.

In contrast to military reports during March and April suggesting U.S. bombs may have killed Saddam, The New York Times says U.S. intelligence analysts now think the ousted Iraqi leader is much more likely to be alive than dead.

The paper says analysts base their belief on intercepted communications between some of Saddam's supporters. U.S. officials say the recently obtained intelligence has re-intensified the hunt for Saddam and his sons, Uday and Qusay.

Coalition forces captured Saddam's personal secretary and key adviser Abid Hamid Mahmud in Iraq on Monday. Mr. Mahmud was listed as number four on the U.S. list of most-wanted Iraqis, below only Saddam himself and his sons.

Meanwhile, U.S. soldiers in Iraq have come under attack again, this time in the former Saddam stronghold of Fallujah. Two U.S. soldiers were injured late Thursday when unknown assailants fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a power plant. U.S. military sources say one soldier suffered a concussion and the other was bruised. Hostile fire has killed at least three American soldiers in Iraq this week. U.S. officials blame Saddam loyalists for the continuing attacks. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Thursday that recent coalition raids against pockets of resistance, mainly north and west of the capital, are necessary to protect U.S. troops and to clear the way for the reconstruction of Iraq. Hundreds of Iraqis have been arrested in the raids.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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