Baghdad, May 19 (Reuters): Saddam Hussein is hiding in Iraq with a small group, probably including his sons, and issuing orders to trusted supporters as he plots a return to power, according to former Iraqi generals returned from exile.
The generals, who were in exile for years and now play a key role in working with US forces to purge the Iraqi public service and security apparatus of Saddam die-hards, said the deposed President had ordered a name-change for his Baath party. Maj.-Gen. Tawfiq al-Yassiri said Saddam had changed its name in the last few days to “Auda”, meaning return. “Saddam used his authority as the secretary-general of the party. He is hiding with a small group that probably includes his two sons,” said Yassiri, who helped lead a rebellion against Saddam in 1991. Saddam was trying to spread chaos in Iraq, which is now under the control of the US forces that ousted him last month after three weeks of war. “Saddam Hussein prepared for every eventuality, including the total collapse of his regime. He does not leave anything to chance,” Yassiri said. “He uses different tools at his disposal to issue orders for his followers to spread chaos.” The general said most old Baath leaders were gone, but a new generation, including sons of the old guard, were helping Saddam.
10 killed in Kirkuk clashes
More than 10 people have been killed in clashes between Arabs and Kurds in Kirkuk in the worst violence in Iraq’s northern oil city since the war, a local police official said today. As officials prepared for city council elections this week, Arabs and Kurds fought over the weekend in mainly Arab districts in the southern part of the city, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, senior officer Jwamma Kakey said.