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Most-wanted Iraqis: 18 remain at large

From Barbara Starr
CNN Washington Bureau

Trump card: The former Iraqi leader remains the elusive top prize.
Trump card: The former Iraqi leader remains the elusive top prize.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Eighteen of the U.S. military's top 55 most-wanted Iraqis remain at large, with most of those on the list in custody.

The capture Wednesday of the former commander of Iraq's Special Republican Guard and the deaths Tuesday of the sons of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein narrow the target list.

U.S. commanders said that they have no intention of resting until the mission is complete and they have the top prize, Saddam -- the ace of spades in the notorious deck of cards.

Saddam's sons Qusay, the ace of clubs, and Uday, the ace of hearts, died in a raid in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

The commander of coalition ground forces in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, said the roundup will continue until the whole deck is accounted for in the country.

"We remain focused on finding, fixing, killing or capturing all members of the high value target list," he said

Early this year, the U.S. military issued a most-wanted list of Iraqi leaders, posting most of them on a deck of cards. Six of the Top 10 are dead or in custody.

Key to tracking down Qusay and Uday was the capture of the ace of diamonds, No. 4 on the list, Abid Hamid Mahmud al-Tikriti, Saddam's closest aide.

Sources told CNN he visually identified the bodies of Saddam's sons.

On Wednesday, Barzan abd al-Ghafur Sulayman Majid al-Tikriti, former commander of Iraq's Special Republican Guard, was taken into custody, Sanchez said. He is the queen of hearts in the deck of cards and No. 11 on the most-wanted list.

Some key figures on the run

Those remaining at large represent many key elements of Saddam's military, security and intelligence apparatus.

Among them are the vice chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council and the director of the Special Security Organization, a nephew of Saddam's.

Also on the run are the chief of the Republican Guard, the director of General Security and the director of the Iraqi Intelligence Services.

Still unclear is the fate of No. 5 -- the king of spades -- Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali."

He was believed to have been killed in a previous raid, but doubts have been raised that he died.

While many Iraqis celebrated the death of Saddam's two sons, U.S. military officials said they still want to capture or kill those who remain at large and put the entire deck of cards out of business.

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