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Iraq: U.S. Attempting To Stamp Out Remnants Of Hussein Regime

Baghdad, 3 December 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The United States has been taking action to stamp out any remaining loyalty to deposed President Saddam Hussein, ordering the destruction of huge bronze busts of the ousted Iraqi dictator in Baghdad and carrying out new raids in the north of the country. Hundreds of U.S. troops on 2 December swept into the town of Hawija in an operation targeting insurgents suspected of organizing attacks against U.S.-led forces.

A number of suspects were reported arrested, but U.S. military officials said the raid had not found Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, a top former Hussein aide and a suspected planner of anti-coalition attacks.

Elsewhere, one U.S. soldier was reported killed in a roadside explosion near Samarra, the scene of deadly clashes between insurgents and U.S. forces on 30 November.

In Baghdad, workers began demolishing four 4-meter-tall bronze busts of Hussein from his former Republican Palace, which is now the headquarters of the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority. Officials said that according to the coalition's de-Ba'athification policy, the statues must come down.