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Pentagon: Saddam's sons killed in raid

U.S. military might release photographs of bodies

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Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez confirms Uday and Qusay Hussein are dead.
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Shots from the aftermath of the firefight in Mosul.
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CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Uday and Qusay Hussein.
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The sons of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein were killed by U.S. troops in the northern city of Mosul after a tipster betrayed their hideout, the commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq said Tuesday.

The bodies of Uday and Qusay Hussein were identified from "multiple sources," Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez told reporters in Baghdad. "The bodies are in a condition where you could identify them.

"They resisted the detention and the efforts of the coalition forces to go in there and apprehend them, and they were killed in the ensuing gunfight and the attacks that we conducted on the residence."

A U.S. official told CNN that Abid Hamid Mahmud al-Tikriti, Saddam's personal secretary, who was captured last month, helped identify the bodies.

In addition, this official said, other visual evidence helped identify the remains, including wounds on Uday's body from previous assassination attempts.

The U.S. military is considering releasing pictures of the bodies in an effort to convince any skeptical Iraqis that Uday, 39, and Qusay, 37, are really dead, a senior Pentagon official told CNN late Tuesday.

Still photos of the bodies were taken in the aftermath of Tuesday's raid. According to Pentagon officials, the pictures show that the bodies -- though badly shot up -- are clearly recognizable.

DNA tests are still planned.

Four coalition troops were wounded in the six-hour operation at a residence on the northern edge of Mosul, Sanchez said. (Map)

TV cameramen who witnessed some of the fighting said U.S. forces attacked from all sides after being refused admission to the house, and charged into the villa, encountering fierce resistance.

When asked whether the $15 million U.S. bounties on both Uday and Qusay would be paid, Sanchez said, "I would expect that it probably will happen." (Profiles: Qusay Hussein, Uday Hussein)

The White House issued a statement hailing U.S. forces for eliminating two men "responsible for countless atrocities committed against the Iraqi people and they can no long cast a shadow of hate on Iraq." (Full statement)

Sanchez and Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi said the deaths of Saddam's sons could undermine resistance to the occupation of Iraq, where almost daily attacks have killed 37 U.S. troops since May 1.

Speaking at the United Nations, Chalabi called the deaths of Saddam's sons "a death blow to his prestige.

"People will perceive him to be much more vulnerable now," Chalabi said.

L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. civil administrator in Iraq who was briefing lawmakers in Washington on Tuesday, told reporters, "I've said all along it's only a matter of time before we find Saddam Hussein. And I hope that day is a day earlier now.'

Bodies of teen, older man also found

A senior Pentagon official said one of the other two bodies at the battle site appeared to be that of a teenage boy. U.S. officials noted that Qusay has a teenage son. The other body recovered appeared to be that of a bodyguard.

An Iraqi witness told the Arabic-language news network Al-Jazeera, "The Americans came to this house and started shooting. They were saying that Saddam's sons, Uday and Qusay, and his grandson, Mustapha, were there, and that one of his bodyguards was there, too."

Sanchez said U.S. military officials are still trying to identify those remains. He said military officials would offer more details in a briefing Wednesday.

Saddam and his sons have been fugitives since their government collapsed ahead of a U.S.-led invasion in March.

Sanchez said U.S. forces learned the brothers' whereabouts from a walk-in Iraqi tipster Monday night.

Pentagon sources told CNN that U.S. forces entered the villa on the first floor, discovered the occupants barricaded on the second floor and then took small-arms fire.

It was then that the U.S. troops called in air support, and an Apache helicopter fired an antitank TOW missile that shredded a large portion of the complex, the sources said.

Task Force 20 -- a military unit formed to hunt for Saddam and his top supporters -- led the raid Tuesday morning, U.S. officials said. That unit was backed by 200 troops from the Army's 101st Airborne Division, along with other Special Forces and air cover, officials said. (Gallery: The firefight scene)

Troops who were involved described the fighting as intense, with moments that seemed "like all hell had broken loose," according to CNN correspondent Nic Robertson.

In the hours after the raid, members of Task Force 20, the CIA and other U.S. personnel searched the complex for documents and any other information that could locate Saddam.

Master Sgt. Kelly Tyler, a spokeswoman for the 101st Airborne at its headquarters in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, said soldiers at the post were "absolutely proud" and "absolutely giddy."

"The 101st kicks ass," she said. "The 101st has a proud history of military tradition, and this just adds to that tradition."

Mosul is a Kurd-controlled city about 110 miles [176 kilometers] from both Syria and Iran. Intelligence officials said they are investigating whether Uday and Qusay were attempting to find a way out of Iraq.

Neighbors said the man who owned the residence where the battle took place had claimed to have been a cousin of Saddam's. They said they doubted the claim because the man's brother had been imprisoned for a decade by the regime.

But the neighbors said that the night before the battle, the man told them that Uday and Qusay had come to his home.

Reaction to deaths of Uday, Qusay

Gunfire erupted in central Baghdad on Tuesday night, forcing journalists to take cover in the Palestine Hotel. It was unclear whether it represented a new attack on U.S. troops or a celebratory response to the news -- "Probably a combination," Sanchez said.

"Given that the Iraqi people have watched CNN, it's probably very appropriate that they would be celebrating about now," he said.

"This will prove to the Iraqi people that at least these two members of the regime will not be coming back into power," Sanchez said. He said U.S. troops "remain totally committed to the same regime never returning to power and tormenting the Iraqis."

Chalabi -- a member of the Iraqi governing council appointed last week -- said Qusay was in charge of a network that was mounting attacks on U.S. troops. He said their deaths "will contribute considerably" to restoring order.

"Uday is notorious, but Qusay is an emulation of his father," he said.

The hunt for Saddam in Iraq is led by a U.S. Special Operations team -- code-named Task Force 20 -- with support from the CIA. The task force, which also took part in the rescue of Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, includes covert special operations forces from the various U.S. military services. (Lynch homecoming)

Qusay and Uday were the second- and third-most-wanted Iraqi leaders, and both are in the card deck of most-wanted Iraqis issued to U.S. troops in Iraq. Uday was the ace of hearts and Qusay the ace of clubs. (Flash interactive: Iraq's most-wanted)

Qusay has been the son widely perceived as most likely to have succeeded Saddam.

With Iraq preparing its defenses in the run-up to the war, Qusay was put in charge of four key areas, including Baghdad and Tikrit -- his family's tribal home.

When the war began, he was in charge of the country's intelligence network, the 80,000-strong Republican Guard and 15,000-member Special Republican Guard, which was responsible for protecting Saddam and his family.

Uday has a reputation for violence that included torturing Iraqi athletes who did not meet expectations. He ran the dreaded Saddam Fedayeen security force.

He was also in charge of the nation's Olympic committee, edited a leading newspaper, Babel, and was head of Youth TV, the country's most popular channel.

Just before the war, Uday warned that Iraqi troops would make the mothers of U.S. soldiers "weep blood instead of tears."

Correspondents Rym Brahimi, David Ensor, Jamie McIntyre, John King, Barbara Starr and Harris Whitbeck, and producers Pam Benson and Kevin Flower, contributed to this report.

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