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New intelligence suggests Saddam is dead: Reports

US intelligence have made these claims but don't have enough proof to confirm it.

world Updated: Apr 12, 2003 12:29 IST

US intelligence claims to have new indications that Saddam Hussein may be dead, but US officials said they did not have enough information to say whether the Iraqi leader was alive or dead.

"US intelligence says there are new indications Saddam Hussein may be dead," CBS news reported on Friday.

"Monitored Iraqi conversations suggest that Saddam Hussein is dead," CNN reported, citing US officials.

"But US officials caution the parties involved in the conversations were not upper echelon government leaders, and it's unclear whether the chatter is at all accurate," the network added.

A US official said: "No conclusions have been reached".

"We have no hard evidence. We have no solid information that he is dead, but it cannot be ruled out," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Last Monday, a US bombing raid on a residential area where Saddam and his two sons Uday and Qusay were believed to be at that time leveled the area.

US officials said a B-1 bomber dropped four 900-kilogram 'bunker-buster' bombs on Monday on a building in Baghdad where Saddam and his sons were thought to have been meeting with senior aides.

Both President George W. Bush and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said earlier that they lacked sufficient information to come to any conclusion about Saddam's fate.

"I don't know the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein. I don't know if he's dead or alive. I do know he's no longer in power," Bush said after visiting wounded soldiers at two area military hospitals.

Rumsfeld said he had not personally seen enough intelligence from reliable sources to convince him Saddam is dead.

First Published: Apr 12, 2003 12:09 IST