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Coalition Kills Saddam's Sons in 'Fierce Gun Battle'

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2003 – Saddam Hussein's sons Qusay and Uday were killed today in a "fierce gun battle," U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, announced at a news briefing in Baghdad.

The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq said that based on a "walk-in tip," elements of the 101st Airborne Division, Special Forces and Air Force assets raided a residence in Mosul, Iraq.

"An Iraqi source informed the 101st Airborne Division today that several suspects, including Qusay and Uday -- Numbers 2 and 3 on the U.S. Central Command's most wanted list -- were hiding in a residence at the northern edge of the city," he said.

When the division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team approached the house, he said, the soldiers received small arms fire. "The division subsequently employed multiple weapons systems to subdue the suspects who had barricaded themselves inside the house and continued to resist detention fiercely."

Saddam's sons died when "they resisted detention and the efforts of the coalition forces to go in there and apprehend them," Sanchez said. "They were killed in the ensuing gunfight and the attacks that we conducted on the residence."

A total of four persons were killed during the six-hour operation and their bodies were removed from the building, he said. "We have since confirmed that Uday and Qusay Hussein are among the dead."

Asked how U.S. officials determined the identities of the men, Sanchez replied: "We're certain Uday and Qusay were killed today. We used multiple sources to identify the individuals. The bodies are in a condition where you could identify them."

U.S. officials are still working to identify two others killed in the fight, he added.

The site is currently being exploited, he said, and military officials continue to investigate the elements that were recovered from the scene.

Four coalition soldiers were also wounded in the operation, said Sanchez who added he is praying for their speedy recovery.

The general said he believes the deaths of Saddam Hussein's sons will have an effect on the guerrilla warfare that's being carried on against coalition forces.

"This will prove to the Iraqi people that at least these two members of the regime will not be coming back into power, which is what we've stated over and over again. And we remain totally committed to the Hussein regime never returning to power and tormenting the Iraqi people."

The coalition is committed to working with the Iraqi people to maintain a safe environment, he concluded, and will continue to improve quality of life for all Iraqis in the country.

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