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Rumsfeld: Uday, Qusay photos will be released

U.S. military details raid that killed Hussein brothers

U.S. troops on Wednesday patrol the perimeter of the Mosul villa where Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay were killed in a massive raid.
U.S. troops on Wednesday patrol the perimeter of the Mosul villa where Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay were killed in a massive raid.

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Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez describes the raid in Mosul.
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Shots from the aftermath of the firefight in Mosul.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Photographs of the bodies of Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay will be released, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Wednesday.

The pictures, taken after the brothers died in a firefight with U.S. troops on Tuesday, are described as "graphic."

In answer to reporters' questions of when the photos are to be released, Rumsfeld said: "We haven't decided," but added it would be soon.

According to a Pentagon official who has seen the photographs, they are "head shots" that show that both Uday and Qusay apparently tried to alter their appearances by growing facial hair.

Another Pentagon official said one photograph shows what could be an exit wound on the back of Uday's head, but the official dismissed as "pure speculation" reports that the wound could have been self-inflicted.

The picture of Uday apparently shows he has a shaved head and a bushy beard. Aside from the wound, he appears relatively unscarred, Pentagon officials said.

Qusay's picture shows he has less of a beard and appears badly bruised and scarred, a Pentagon official said.

Autopsies will be performed and the bodies could be re-photographed after they have been cleaned up, a Pentagon official said.

Dental records, X-rays, and visual identifications from four senior members of Saddam's former regime who are in U.S. custody confirmed the identities of Uday and Qusay, said Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq.

Rumsfeld said that killing Saddam's two sons was not a choice made by the United States.

"The task of the commanders on the ground is to do their job, and their job has been, without any ambiguity at all, to seek out, find and capture or kill the senior leadership from Iraq," he said.

"If a person is determined to fight to the death, then they may very well have that opportunity. It was not a choice that the United States or the coalition made, it was a choice that the people inside that building made."

President Bush called the deaths of Saddam's sons a sign that the former regime is gone and "will not be coming back."

"Yesterday in the city of Mosul," Bush said during a brief statement in the White House Rose Garden, "the careers of two of the regime's chief henchmen came to an end. Saddam Hussein's sons were responsible for the torture, maiming and murder of countless Iraqis.

"Now, more than ever, all Iraqis can know that the former regime is gone and will not be coming back."

Battle in Mosul

Sanchez Wednesday described the operation that killed Uday and Qusay Hussein, an assault that started with a gun battle on the stairs of a house in Mosul, northern Iraq, and ended with the firing of almost a dozen missiles.

Sanchez, detailing the Tuesday operation blow-by-blow at a news conference, said the staged attack included an antitank platoon. The U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division and special operations forces played a role.

Iraqi police had a role in setting up a cordon around the area of the house in which Saddam's sons were said to be hiding, Sanchez said. (Map)

Sanchez described how U.S. forces made two attempts to enter the large villa in Mosul before they were successful on the third attempt in killing the occupants barricaded on the second floor. (Gallery: Timeline of the attack)

Some of the damage inflicted on the villa in which Uday and Qusay Hussein were attacked in Mosul is seen in this photo from the scene.
Some of the damage inflicted on the villa in which Uday and Qusay Hussein were attacked in Mosul is seen in this photo from the scene.

At first, in what Sanchez called a "cordon-and-knock" operation, an interpreter used a bullhorn to order the occupants to come out. After no response, "we began to enter the building," Sanchez said.

As they went into the house, U.S. troops were met with gunfire, probably from AK-47s. Three soldiers were wounded on the stairs; one soldier was wounded outside.

At that point the troops withdrew and forces began to fire grenade launchers. The standby OH-58 Delta Kiowa helicopters fired rockets and machine guns.

After securing the ground floor, the troops again tried to enter the house; met with gunfire once more; and withdrew.

They then deployed 50-caliber machine guns and 10 Humvee-mounted TOW missiles.

Although Apache helicopters and A-10 aircraft were on hand, Sanchez said they weren't used because the surrounding neighborhood was too crowded.

He said it's believed the TOW missiles probably killed the brothers.

Two other bodies were recovered from the house in which the raid took place. A senior Pentagon official said one appeared to be that of a teenage boy. U.S. officials noted that Qusay had a teenage son. The other unidentified body appeared to be that of a bodyguard.

Sanchez also said that No. 11 on the U.S. list of 55 most-wanted Iraqis was taken into custody by U.S. forces Wednesday. No. 11 is the former commander of Iraq's Special Republican Guard, Barzan abd al-Ghafur Sulayman Majid al Tikriti. (Flash interactive: Iraq's most-wanted)

The Iraqi informant who led U.S. forces to Uday and Qusay Hussein is in protective custody and will receive two $15 million rewards, a high-ranking U.S. military officer told CNN Wednesday. The U.S. State Department also has a $25 million reward for Saddam.

The officer, who took part in Tuesday's dramatic operation, said U.S. forces were tipped off 24 hours before troops swept into the northern city of Mosul and mounted the intense assault on the brothers' hideout. (Profiles: Qusay Hussein, Uday Hussein)

Qusay and Uday were the U.S. military's second- and third-most-wanted former Iraqi leaders, and both are included in the card deck of wanted figures issued to U.S. troops in Iraq. Uday Hussein was the ace of hearts and Qusay Hussein was the ace of clubs. (Flash interactive: Iraq's most-wanted)

CNN correspondents Rym Brahimi, David Ensor, Jamie McIntyre, John King, Barbara Starr and Harris Whitbeck, and producers Pam Benson and Kevin Flower, contributed to this report.

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