Thursday, April 17, 2003

Nine lives
Barzan al-Takriti, Saddam's half-brother, has been found alive in Baghdad, following a report last week that he had been killed on his farm south of the Iraqi capital. Reportedly his family in Geneva put out the rumor that he had been killed so he could make a clean getaway. Speaking of which, this Washington Post article insinuates, though it doesn't confirm, that Saddam's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, or "Chemical Ali", may have escaped from Basra after all, despite reports of his death.

The relevant passage reads:

At one of Majeed's guesthouses, Mohammed Yahya, an unemployed 32-year-old, was scavenging recently for whatever the looters left behind. Yahya, who lives near the guesthouse on the banks of the Shatt al Arab waterway, said he saw a convoy of six or seven four-wheel-drive vehicles leave the compound early on April 6, heading for a northbound military road that cuts between palm trees close to the Iranian border.

Yahya, who said he often watched the comings and goings from the guesthouse, said the cars belonged to "some very important people." He added: "We don't know who occupied the cars. But it might have been Ali

You've got to hand it to these Takritis. They sure know how to survive.

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