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Saddam Hussein denies family members fled abroad

Denying the report Saddam said his family's fate remained tied to that of the Iraqi people.

world Updated: Jun 04, 2007 17:16 IST

President Saddam Hussein denied on Tuesday that any of his close family had fled abroad and said his own and his relatives' fate remained tied to that of the Iraqi people.

"The rumour that the family of President Saddam Hussein has left Iraq is a repeat of a lie that was previously voiced by the Pentagon. The immediate family of leader Saddam Hussein is part and parcel of the great and larger Iraqi family," said a presidential statement read out on Iraqi state television.

"President Saddam Hussein has linked his fate and the fate of his immediate family to the honourable values of the Iraqi people and the fate of Saddam Hussein's immediate family will be similar to the fate of the bigger family of Iraq."

Saddam appeared to be responding to speculation, aired in some foreign media, that the elder of his two wives, Sajida, and his daughters had fled Iraq.

Saddam ignored US demands to step down and go into exile to avert the war to oust him that began almost two weeks ago.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, reiterated the calls for Saddam to resign on Monday, saying he should make a "sacrifice" that could end the war.

Iraqi officials have dismissed such demands, saying US President George W Bush should quit instead.

Saddam has also appeared on Iraqi state television several times since the war began to douse speculation that he had been killed or fled the country.

First Published: Apr 01, 2003 13:24 IST