BAGHDAD, Iraq – The commanding general of a U.S. Army division said Friday that American forces believe they have captured several of Saddam Hussein’s personal bodyguards during a raid near Tikrit.
Maj. Gen. Ray Odierno, who commands the 4th Infantry Division, said in a video teleconference from Baghdad with reporters in Washington that the raid took place Thursday on a house south of Tikrit, Saddam’s hometown.
“We had somebody come into Tikrit, the 1st Brigade, and give us an informant, give us a tip to conduct a raid on a house south of Tikrit which we conducted last night,” the general said.
“Based on the informant south of Tikrit, we detained 13 individuals. Somewhere between five to 10 of those, we are still sorting through it, are believed to be Saddam Hussein’s personal security detachment.”
Odierno said it wasn’t clear how recently the bodyguards had been protecting the deposed Iraqi leader. He said the hunt for Saddam, however, was ongoing and persistent.
“We have also talked to one of his wives … and so we have talked to several people in this area,” he said. “I believe that we continue to tighten the noose.”