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More Regime Captured Army Takes Control of Baghdad

More Regime Captured, Army Takes Control of Baghdad

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2003 – At least one more leader of Saddam Hussein's regime is in custody, and another has allegedly turned himself in to the Iraqi National Congress.

Coalition forces captured Hussein's former minister of higher education and scientific research, Humam Abd al- Khaliq Abd al-Gafar. He was the "4" of hearts in the American card deck listing the 55 most-wanted Iraqi officials. Central Command officials would not reveal where he was taken or who captured him on April 19.

Jamal Mustafa Abdullah Sultan al-Tikriti, the "9" of clubs and the son-in-law of the former Iraqi dictator, gave himself up to the president of the Iraq National Congress. He surrendered to Ahmad Chalabi April 20.

CENTCOM officials said they have seen the reports of the surrender but cannot confirm it. Saddam's son-in-law is described as the regime's deputy chief of tribal affairs.

Other regime officials in custody are Hikmat Mizban Ibrahim al-Azzawi, deputy prime minister and finance minister, arrested by Iraqi police April 18 and turned over the Marines in Baghdad; Samir abd al-Aziz al-Najim, handed over to coalition special operations forces April 17; Barzan Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti, captured April 16; and Watban Ibrahim Hasan, taken April 13 in northern Iraq reportedly trying to flee to neighboring Syria.

Coalition special operations forces also captured Abu Abbas on April 14. Abbas is the terrorist who engineered the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985.

Elements of the 3rd Infantry Division relieved units of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Baghdad over the weekend. Officials said it was a simple "relief-in-place" maneuver. "This provides unity of command for the city," said DoD officials.

The Army's 5th Corps – which consists of the 3rd, the 101st Airborne Division and the 4th Infantry Division – are now responsible for Baghdad and its environs. Before, the Army controlled the western half of the city and the Marines the eastern. The Army also took over the Civil Military Operations Center in the Palestine Hotel, CENTCOM officials said.

The Marines moved to the southeast and are situated around Al Kut, Nasiriyah and Karbala. British forces are providing security in the southern part of the country.

U.S. soldiers discovered $640 million in U.S. currency in a tool shed at a regime headquarters in Baghdad, Central Command officials said. The currency has been taken to a secure location.


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