Saddam ally new Baath Party head

Jan. 4, 2007 at 5:22 PM

BAGHDAD, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- A Saddam Hussein henchman in hiding with a $10 million price on his head reportedly was named the head of the Iraqi Baath Party.

A Baath spokesman said that Douri Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri is the acting general secretary of the Baath Party, The Times of London reported.

Douri, who suffers from leukemia, has been able to evade capture long after Saddam's arrest by staying on the move, the spokesman, who uses the name Abu Abdullah, said.

"He has about 600 men working for him, to secure his movements," Abdullah said. "He can't stay more than a week to ten days in any one place. He has received offers for vacations in Arab and Islamic countries to go there and receive medical treatment, but he has refused because he is afraid if he gets out, the party will collapse."

Abdullah claimed that Douri has directed at least 150 attacks on U.S. troops since 2003.

Douri was born in the Tikrit area like Saddam. The two reportedly became close as young men.

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