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Iraq: Deputy Premier Aziz In U.S. Custody

Washington, 25 April 2003 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Central Command has announced Iraq's former deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, is in the custody of U.S.-led forces. Central Command in Qatar said in a brief statement that Aziz is under "coalition control," but did not elaborate.

Aziz is number 43 on a "most-wanted" list of 55 senior Iraqi officials sought by Washington. He served for many years as Iraq's deputy prime minister and often appeared on television as the international face of Saddam Hussein's government.

Aziz was the only Christian in Hussein's inner circle. He served as foreign minister during the 1991 Gulf War and was a frequent spokesman at that time.