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U.S. Offers $25M for Saddam's Capture

U.S. Offers $25M for Saddam's Capture

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BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. administrators in Iraq announced on Thursday a $25 million reward for information leading to the capture of Saddam Hussein or confirmation of his death, as well as $15 million for information on either of his two sons.

The offer was made in a prepared release by the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority and applies to Saddam and both his sons, Odai and Qusai, said Sgt. Amy Abbott, a U.S. military spokeswoman in Baghdad.

The bounty for Saddam matches the $25 million the United States has offered for Osama bin Laden , the al-Qaida leader missing since U.S. forces entered Afghanistan and helped topple the Taliban regime.

In April, the United States offered unspecified rewards to Iraqis who provide information about government officials and weapons of mass destruction. Officials have not said whether anyone has collected any of those rewards.

Saddam was last reportedly seen alive in the war's waning days in the Azamiyah neighborhood of northeastern Baghdad. At least two U.S. airstrikes targeted him during the war but it is not known if any were successful.

U.S. officials say capturing Saddam and his sons is crucial because the uncertainty surrounding his fate can be used as a rallying point for anti-U.S. forces.

Attacks against occupation forces have been increasing in recent weeks, with at least 26 U.S. troops killed in hostile fire since major combat was officially declared over on May 1

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