U.S. to show photos of dead sons
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States says it will release photographs of the bodies of Uday and Qusay Hussein, who were killed by U.S. forces in Iraq.
The decision was announced Wednesday in Washington by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
"There will be pictures released," Rumsfeld said shortly after he briefed members of the House Armed Services Committee on Iraq.
When pressed about when exactly the photographs would be made public, Rumsfeld responded, "I said, soon."
The photographs have been described as "graphic," by Pentagon officials who have seen them, but it's not clear those pictures will be the ones eventually released.
According to a Pentagon official who has seen the photographs, they are "headshots" that show that both Uday and Qusay apparently tried to alter their appearances by growing facial hair.
One official said one photograph shows what could be an exit wound on the back of Uday's head, but the official dismissed as "pure speculation" reports that the wound could have been self-inflicted.
Autopsies will be performed and the bodies could be re-photographed after they have been cleaned up, an official said.
The picture of Uday shows he has a shaved head and a bushy beard. Aside from the wound, he appears relatively unscarred.
Qusay's picture shows he has less of a beard and appears badly bruised and scarred, the official said.
The two men, along with two others, were killed in a six-hour gun battle with coalition troops in the northern city of Mosul. (Map)
They had barricaded themselves on the second floor of a house and fired upon U.S. troops who approached the home, wounding four of the Americans.
Many believe the Iraqi people need proof that Uday and Qusay are dead, to help alleviate tension between the Iraqis and coalition troops and to pave the way for the country's reconstruction.
The director of the U.S.-led reconstruction effort in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, said Wednesday it was clear that Uday and Qusay would never have been taken alive.
After a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, Bremer was asked if U.S. troops had attempted first to capture the two men, who presumably would have had valuable information.
Bremer, who was in Washington at the time of the raid, said, "We went to the door of the house, were refused entry and were fired upon, but with increasingly heavier weapons. And we had to respond and these people were found inside of a very heavily armored room.
"There was no way they were going to be taken alive."
Earlier, the U.S. military said dental records and former aides had confirmed that the sons were killed in the assault.
The condition of Uday's teeth made a perfect match "impossible," but provided 90 percent certainty, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq, said Wednesday.
Qusay's teeth provided "100 percent certainty," he added.
Sanchez did not identify the man who tipped off U.S. troops about the location of Saddam's sons.
Asked whether the reward money offered for information leading to their killing or capture -- $15 million for each of them -- would be paid soon, he told CNN: "I know that that is being worked at this point in time, and I would expect that that probably will have a favorable response." (Full story)
A tip came in Monday night from an Iraqi citizen who gave "information that Uday and Qusay might be located at this residence," Sanchez said.
"Over the course of the night, we planned our operation and we had all the conditions set in order for us to initiate our assault by 1000 hours yesterday morning." (Gallery: The firefight scene)
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)
Meanwhile, two U.S. soldiers in Iraq were killed and nine wounded Wednesday, in separate attacks, when their convoys hit explosive devices, according to the U.S. military. (Full story)
On Wednesday, the former commander of Iraq's Special Republican Guard was taken into custody by U.S. forces, Sanchez said.
Barzan abd al-Ghafur Sulayman Majid al-Tikriti is number 11 on the U.S. list of 55 most wanted Iraqis, and the Queen of Hearts in the deck.
Meanwhile, Arabic-language TV network Al Arabiya aired an audiotape Wednesday, purportedly from Saddam.
On the tape, the speaker urges Iraqis to "raise troops in resistance" and fight against the "invading forces."
It is not clear when the tape was recorded and CNN cannot confirm the audiotape was recorded by Saddam. (Full story)