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Officials consult on remains of Saddam's sons

A second cousin makes request to bury bodies in family plot

Uday, left, and Qusay Hussein were killed July 22 by U.S. forces in Mosul, Iraq.
Uday, left, and Qusay Hussein were killed July 22 by U.S. forces in Mosul, Iraq.

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Gallery: Photos released by the United States as evidence of the deaths of Uday and Qusay Hussein  (These images are graphic and not recommended for children and some adults. Viewer discretion is advised.)
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Viewer discretion advised -- graphic video of what the U.S. says are the bodies of the Hussein brothers.
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Viewer discretion advised -- the U.S. says these graphic photos show the bodies of Uday and Qusay Hussein.
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CNN's Harris Whitbeck on disbelief among Saddam supporters in Mosul.
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S.-led coalition said Thursday that it is consulting with local Iraqi officials on what to do with the bodies of Saddam Hussein's sons Qusay and Uday, whom U.S. forces killed last week in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

Several people, including relatives and tribal members, have come forward and requested the corpses, which have remained in U.S. custody.

A representative for the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority said that the matter is under consultation with the interim Iraqi Governing Council and religious and tribal leaders.

"The competent authorities would make the final decision" on how to proceed, the representative said.

Uday, 39, and Qusay, 37, were killed in a July 22 battle with U.S. forces, along with one of their bodyguards and Qusay's 14-year-old son, Mustafa. (Full story, Profiles: Uday Hussein, Qusay Hussein)

During the raid, U.S. forces used anti-tank TOW missiles fired from Humvees to help destroy the building where the four were staying. (Timeline of the attack, Gallery: Scene of the firefight)

An Iraqi tipped off the forces about the two sons' whereabouts, officials have said.

The United States will pay $30 million in reward money to the informant who led U.S. forces to the two men, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Thursday, declining to disclose the identity of the informant.

In a letter, a second cousin of Saddam's made a burial request request to the coalition. The cousin asked L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. civilian administrator in Iraq, to allow the bodies of Uday and Qusay to be buried in the family plot in Tikrit, Saddam's ancestral hometown. (Gallery: Saddam and sons, People in the News: Saddam Hussein)

In the letter, Ezzedine Mohamed Hassan al-Majid said his wife and four children were killed in an attack led by Uday and Qusay but that he still felt obliged to make the request.

"I ask for your approval to hand over their two bodies so that they can be afforded a burial in accordance with the principles of the orthodox Islamic religion, for they are, despite what injuries they have put me and my family and the Iraqis through, nothing less than corpses," al-Majid wrote.

Al-Majid's father was a cousin of the former Iraqi president, but al-Majid is also a cousin of Hussein Kamil, Saddam's son-in-law, who was killed along with his brother in 1996.

In the mid-1990s, Hussein Kamil and his brother, their wives -- Saddam's daughters -- and their children went into exile in Jordan.

They returned to Iraq a few months later after having made public statements that led U.N. weapons inspectors to the discovery of Iraq's biological weapons programs.

Before returning, they had received assurances from Saddam that they would not be harmed, but the brothers were killed shortly after going back.

Al-Majid defected at roughly the same time but did not return to Iraq while Saddam remained in power.

Another relative, Sheikh Mohammed al-Nida, made a similar request to U.S. military authorities.


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