Home > US Edition > The Gulf Crisis, II > Report
Speculation continues over Saddam's fate
March 21, 2003 23:29 IST
According to new intelligence reports, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was in a building struck by two precision bombs from an F117 stealth fighter on the opening day of the war on Thursday, The Washington Time said.
The daily, on Friday, quoted a US official as saying that Saddam was meeting his two sons, Uday and Qusay, aides and military commanders in the building when it was bombed.
It was not clear whether Saddam left the building 30 minutes before the strike at 0500 hrs [Baghdad time], he said.
There were intelligence reports of Uday being killed, he told the daily.
The strike was made possible by American intelligence teams inside Baghdad, pinpointed Saddam's location.
ABC television said some people might have been hurt in the attack.
Witnesses saw Saddam being carried away from the wreckage of the compound with an oxygen mask over his face, it quoted intelligence officials as saying.
Iraq's Information Minister Mohammed Said al-Sahhaf on Friday insisted that the president and his family were safe.
The White House said it had no concrete information on the fate of Saddam.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said, "I don't report on rumours."
"I don't know how Saddam Hussein is feeling today," he said.
At a Pentagon briefing, Defense Secretary Donald H Rumsfeld said the Iraqi regime's "day are numbered"."We continue to feel that there's no need for a broader conflict if the Iraqi leaders act to save themselves and to prevent such further conflict," he said.