11/04/03 - War on Iraq section
Iraqi hit list cards
The US military has issued a most-wanted list of 55 former leaders in Saddam Hussein's regime to be pursued, captured or killed.
The list, in the form of a "deck of cards" with pictures of the wanted figures, was distributed to all US troops in the field to help them find the senior members of the government.
It was also being put on posters and handbills for the Iraqi public, Brigadier General Vincent Brooks told a daily briefing at US Central Command headquarters in Qatar.
"There are indications of regime-associated individuals attempting to escape by fleeing into other countries," he said.
Brooks did not identify figures on the list, except to suggest they included Saddam and his minister of information, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, who boasted of battlefield successes right up to the time he disappeared Tuesday.
"There are jokers in this deck, there is no doubt about that," Brooks said.
He said the whereabouts of some of the most-wanted figures were unknown, while others might well be dead.
"The population will probably confirm that for us," he said.
"The key list has 55 individuals who may be pursued, killed or captured, and the list does not exclude leaders who may have already been killed or captured," Brooks said.
Two days after US forces swept into central Baghdad, the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein and his entourage remains unknown.
Brooks said US forces controlled Iraq's Highway 11 border crossing into Syria, just north of the border with Jordan.
Special operatives found five light aircraft hidden north of the city of Tikrit that Brooks said could have been used by the fleeing leaders.