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Confusion In Iraq Over Al-Douri Arrest Claims

5 September 2004 -- The fate of a former top aide to ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein -- Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri -- is shrouded in confusion tonight following contradictory reports from officials in Baghdad.

Earlier today, Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Colonel Adnan Abdelrahman said al-Douri was arrested on 4 September by Iraqi forces in an area between the towns of Ad-Dawr and Tikrit. Abdelrahman said 70 people were killed or wounded during the battle leading to his capture. That account was confirmed by other senior government officials.

But after the U.S. military -- which has a $10 million bounty on al-Douri -- said it knew nothing of his reported arrest, a top Iraqi military official also denied the reports.

Major General Ahmad Khalaf Salman, who is commander of the region where al-Douri's seizure was initially reported, said none of his forces had taken part in any capture. He said he could provide no information to corroborate the earlier announcements.