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Saddam's former chief of staff dies of cancer

Iraq's armed forces chief of staff under Saddam Hussein at the time of the 2003 invasion has died of cancer in a Baghdad hospital after seven years behind bars, the justice ministry said on Friday.

world Updated: Oct 29, 2010 20:54 IST

Iraq's armed forces chief of staff under Saddam Hussein at the time of the 2003 invasion has died of cancer in a Baghdad hospital after seven years behind bars, the justice ministry said on Friday.

General Ibrahim Ahmed Abdul Sattar "died early yesterday (Thursday) at Al-Karkh hospital where he was ill with cancer," justice ministry spokesman Busho Ibrahim told AFP.

US troops arrested Abdul Sattar on May 15, 2003, a month after the fall of Baghdad in the US-led invasion.

The general was jailed at the US military's Camp Cropper detention facility but transferred to an Iraqi-run prison in Baghdad last July.

Abdul Sattar, 54, was from the northern city of Tikrit, sharing tribal roots with Saddam.

He was chief of staff from 1999 up until the invasion and was the "Jack of Spades" in the set of playing cards devised by the US military to help troops identify the most-wanted members of Saddam's regime.

In August 2007, Abdul Sattar was put on trial for the violent repression of a Shiite uprising in 1991 after Iraq's ouster from Kuwait by a US-led multinational coalition.

Abdul Sattar was the second senior ex-Saddam official to die in prison. Former prime minister Mohammed Hamza al-Zubaidi died at a US military hospital on December 2, 2005 but the cause was not announced.