Saddam possibly caught - U.S.
December 14, 2003- Posted: 5:35 AM EST
CNN) -- Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has possibly been captured in a raid near his hometown of Tikrit, U.S. officials say.
However, the officials told CNN on Sunday that the identity of the individual, who was one of a number of suspected insurgents caught, was still being confirmed.
A coalition news conference in Baghdad, scheduled for 1200 GMT (7 a.m. ET), is expected to shed more light on whether the Iraqi leader was captured.
The raid was based on intelligence that Saddam was at a particular location in the area, the officials said.
The former Iraqi leader is number one on the coalition's 55 most wanted list, and his evasion has been a political sore spot for the U.S. administration.
At least a dozen audiotapes believed to have been recorded by Saddam, 66, have been released since he was forced out of power by the coalition forces during the Iraq war. The most recent was broadcast in November.
His sons Uday and Qusay -- also on the coalition's most wanted list -- were killed in July, after U.S. forces stormed their hideout in Mosul.
Initial hopes that their father would soon be found faded in the months following that raid.
Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq, has been dogged by reporters questioning the status of the search for Saddam.
"It is difficult to find him," Sanchez said, at a press briefing earlier this month. "Given that I haven't found him killed him or captured him, and I need the Iraqi people's help, and together we will find him, we will capture him, we will kill him."
The announcement comes on the same day that 20 people were killed and 32 wounded by a car bomb outside an Iraqi police station west of Baghdad, an Iraqi police officer told CNN.
Sixteen policemen were among those killed in Sunday's explosion at Khaldiyah, 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the Iraqi capital, the officer added. http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/12/14/sprj.irq.main/index.html