U.S. forces in Iraq have detained former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, one of the most well known members of the Saddam Hussein regime.
Military sources confirmed Thursday (April 24) that Aziz has been taken into custody, but they offered no other information. CNN reported he was negotiating a surrender on Wednesday.
Aziz, the eight of spades in the deck of cards picturing wanted Iraqi leaders, often appeared on TV defending Iraq against the accusations of the United States and the United Nations. He was known as the only Christian in Hussein’s inner circle and was #43 on a recent list of the 55 most wanted Iraqis.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said Thursday that coalition forces are searching for many more former members of Hussein’s government. “We have a list of some 200. That original list was purposely kept low at the outset because we wanted to separate the worst people from the regime, hoping that others would come forward.”
In other military news, senior administration sources told CNN on Thursday that North Korea has admitted to having at least one nuclear weapon.
A delegate from North Korea reportedly said it was up to America to determine whether there is a physical demonstration of such a weapon and that the country would consider dismantling it if the United States provides a written assurance that it will not attack North Korea.
Secretary of State Colin Powell later said America would not be intimidated by “bellicose statements” or threats. The Pentagon has said repeatedly it has no plans to launch military action against North Korea.
— Corey Moss
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