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Saddam's daughter says she believes he is still alive

Monday, June 16, 2003

The Associated Press

LONDON -- A daughter of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein told a British newspaper she believes he is still alive even though she has not seen him since before the U.S.-led invasion.

"The last time I spoke to my father was five days before the war," Raghad was quoted as saying by The Sunday Times. "He was in good spirits.

"I know he survived the war. But once Baghdad fell it was all so quick, all the family went our own ways. I am not in touch with any of them. But I believe they are still alive."

The newspaper said one of its Baghdad-based reporters spoke to Raghad by telephone on Saturday.

Raghad, 35, was quoted as saying she now lived with her sister Rana and their children in a "simple house" in Baghdad.

She denied reports that she and her sister planned to seek asylum in England, where a cousin lives.

"I like England. I have been there before and it's nice, quiet and very cold. But politically it is impossible," she said.

Saddam, whose government was toppled in April, has three sons and three daughters by two wives. Two of the sons, Odai and Qusay, were prominent in their father's regime. The other children kept a low profile.

Raghad and Rana were married to brothers, Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel and Saddam Kamel, who defected to Jordan in 1995 and announced plans to work to overthrow Saddam.

The two were lured back in February 1996 and killed on Saddam's orders on suspicion of passing information about Iraq's weapons programs to Western officials.


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