Reports: Iraq's al-Douri dead

Jan. 10, 2004 at 10:16 AM

BAGHDAD, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Press reports in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, said Saturday former Iraqi Vice President Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri has recently died of cancer.

Al-Saáh newspaper, mouthpiece for the National Iraqi Movement, quoted unnamed sources saying al-Douri, who has been suffering from leukemia for several years, died a few days ago in a village near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

Al-Douri, who disappeared after the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein's Baath regime in April, ranked the sixth most wanted former Iraqi official sought by the United States, which named 55 former officials on its "black list."

The U.S. administration in Iraq last week offered a $10 million reward to anyone providing information leading to the capture of al-Douri, whom the U.S. forces accuse of leading the armed resistance against the coalition presence in Iraq.

The paper quoted mystic Sufi sources saying al-Douri was "secretly buried in a village near Mosul, and those who buried him agreed against revealing this for fear of being questioned."

However, the publication also quoted former officials in the toppled Baath regime denying his death, saying "such leaks are being peddled by the U.S. forces to appear as though they have completed their control over the situation in Iraq."

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