Sabawi Ibrahim Hasan, a half brother of Saddam Hussein and one of the remaining fugitives on the US list of most-wanted Iraqis, has been captured, officials in the prime minister's office said yesterday.
Officials in interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's office, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the capture but gave no details on where it took place or when. It was also not immediately known whether Iraqi forces or US troops had detained Hasan.
Hasan is No. 36 on the list of 55 most-wanted Iraqis released by US authorities after US troops invaded Iraq in March 2003.
According to the US Central Command, only 12 of those 55 most-wanted remain at large. With Hasan's capture, the count would be 11 still at large.
According to the US Central Command, Hasan is also among the 29 most-wanted supporters of insurgent groups in Iraq. The US has put a US$1 million bounty on his head, and he is believed to be a financier of insurgents.
Under Saddam, Hasan served as head of intelligence and security before taking up his last post of presidential adviser in the former regime.
He is also known as Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hasan al-Tikriti, aka Thafir Alsemak.
Saddam's two other half brothers, Barzan and Watban, were captured in April 2003 and are expected to stand trial along with Saddam at the Iraqi Special Tribunal. Both appeared before the special court in Baghdad with Saddam and a handful of others to hear preliminary accusations against them.
Violence continued around the country.
In northern Iraq, major oil fire raged after insurgents blew up a pipeline, while the family of an anchorwoman for a US-funded state television station -- a mother of four who was repeatedly shot in the head -- found her body dumped on a street in the city of Mosul.
Around Baghdad, insurgents killed two civilians in a roadside bombing to the west of the city. To the southwest of the capital, a suicide car bomber killed an Iraqi national guardsman and injured seven people. The US military, meanwhile, announced the death on Saturday of a US Marine during military operations in Babil, just south of Baghdad.
Earlier, the military had announced the death of a soldier killed on Friday in a massive security sweep in the Sunni Triangle.
As part of the offensive, residents in Ramadi, the Sunni-dominated city 112km west of Baghdad, reported clashes between insurgents and US forces, but the military provided no details. US troops have been conducting an offensive in the region for nearly a week.
The US military said an insurgent was killed and another was injured trying to build a bomb in an abandoned house in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown and the site of a Thursday suicide bombing that killed 15 Iraqi police.
The body of Raiedah Mohammed Wageh Wazan, the 35-year-old news presenter for the US-funded Nineveh TV, was found dumped along a Mosul street, six days after she was kidnapped by masked gunmen, according to her husband, who said she had been shot four times in the head.
"This is a criminal act. She was an innocent woman who did not hurt anybody in all her life. I asked her several times to quit for the sake of her safety, but she refused," said Salim Saad-Allah, the husband.
The mother of three boys and a girl had been threatened with death several times by insurgents who demanded she quit her job, Saad-Allah said. The US military confirmed insurgents had threatened station employees.