BAGHDAD, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. military says deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is alive and hiding in or around his hometown of Tikrit, reports said Tuesday.
"We have clear indication he has been here recently," Maj. Troy Smith, executive officer of the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, said in Tikrit, 95 miles north of Baghdad. "He could be here right now. At the least, he is maintaining a strong influence in the area."
Many of the attacks against U.S. troops have occurred in the "Sunni Triangle," a region north and west of Baghdad that includes Tikrit. Monday, one U.S. soldier was killed and two were wounded when a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at their patrol in Tikrit. A second soldier was killed and two others wounded when their military convoy was ambushed near Jalyula, 75 miles northeast of Baghdad. A third soldier was killed and another wounded when their vehicle struck a land mine in Beiji, 120 miles north of Baghdad.
"We feel like we're dealing with Custer's last stand of (Saddam's) Baath Party in this area," Smith said. "It's really the only area he's got left."