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Zambia denies Saddam's family in the country

LUSAKA, Zambia -- President Kenneth Kaunda Thursday denied a British newspaper report that Zambia was giving refuge to the family of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

A spokesman for Kaunda said the president called the report 'a pure lie' and reiterated that Zambia is neutral in the Persian Gulf war.

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Kaunda, a friend of Saddam, went to Baghdad before the war to try to broker a peace agreement, but has refused to take sides in the conflict.

The Daily Telegraph reported Saddam's wife, Sajida, and a number of their five children had fled Baghdad soon after the war began last week and flew to Lusaka in a Zambian aircraft.

They had been given a home in one of Kaunda's personal lodges in the countryside, the newspaper said.

Staff at Kaunda's two most prestigious lodges said Thursday that no foreign guests were being hosted.

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