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U.S. releases altered Saddam pictures

Deposed Iraqi leader's daughters talk about their father

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Shown here is one of the five altered photos of what Saddam Hussein might look like after nearly four months on the run.

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The U.S. released digitally altered pictures of Saddam Hussein that coalition forces are using to track him down. CNN's Barbara Starr reports. (August 1)
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(CNN) -- The United States released digitally altered pictures of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on Friday that coalition forces are using in their efforts to track him down.

The U.S. military images -- which were posted on the U.S. Central Command Web site Friday -- show five versions of Saddam. One shows him with his dyed black hair and a full beard; another wearing a salt-and-pepper beard and a white headdress with black bands; two poses show him with what would probably be his natural hair color -- gray -- and a mustache; and another shows him with gray hair and no mustache.

Another set of images of the former Iraqi leader is being distributed only to members of Task Force 20 -- the elite military group charged with finding Saddam.

Those images, which have not been released to the public, are CIA-generated artist sketches that depict a more haggard Saddam. One shows him with long hair, and others show him with and without his trademark mustache.

U.S. officials said the military's enhanced photographs, as well as the CIA sketches, were developed as a result of several reported sightings of Saddam by Iraqis, some of whom are said to have described him as having long hair and a beard.

U.S. officials say that even if those sightings were legitimate, the former Iraqi leader might have again altered his appearance.

In another effort to find the ousted Iraqi leader, the U.S. State Department's "Rewards for Justice" program is planning to distribute matchbooks with Saddam's picture on them and a reminder of the $25 million price on his head. "Mock-ups" of the matchbooks are expected to be ready within the next several days, a State Department official said.

Meanwhile, Saddam's two oldest daughters told CNN that they don't know where the former president is hiding. They last spoke to him seven days before the war began March 19.

From Amman, Jordan, where 35-year-old Raghad Hussein and 33-year-old Rana Hussein have received sanctuary along their nine children, the two women tearfully said they still love their father but refused to talk about his role in their husbands' deaths.

"I pray to God that he will be fine and safe," said Rana, speaking in Arabic. (Full story)

Although Saddam might be staying out of sight, he apparently is making sure that his voice is still heard by supporters.

Al-Jazeera television broadcast another audiotape Friday purportedly recorded in recent days by Saddam, in which the speaker counseled patience to the Iraqi people.

Friday afternoon, CIA officials said there's a "high likelihood" that the voice on the tape is that of the deposed Iraqi leader.

"I call on all those who have suffered at the hands of looters and the occupying forces to be patient, wise and not out for revenge. Those who have caused harm have acted upon the encouragement of the occupiers. God is on the side of the faithful."

The tape's speaker said "we are confident that the occupying forces will collapse and surrender to the truth and the will of God and that of the people."

"This will happen at any moment because of the painful blows the occupiers are receiving at the hands of the mujahedeen and due to the perseverance of our people." (Full story)

Also Friday, troops on the hunt for Saddam and his followers captured two of his supporters in his ancestral home of Tikrit.

Troops from the 4th Infantry Division, supported from the air by Apache attack helicopters, raided two houses. Military officials said that there are indications that Saddam could be in the area.

The loyalists were detained and are being processed to determine whether they had any information on the deposed Iraqi leader's whereabouts, CNN has learned.

The relentless manhunt comes one week after his sons, Uday and Qusay, were spotted and killed in Mosul during a firefight.

Other developments

• A U.S. soldier was killed in Baghdad on Friday when a stray bullet from "celebratory fire" struck him in the head, according to a senior defense official. Unidentified Iraqis were firing weapons into the air some distance from the 1st Armored Division soldier when he was killed, the official said. Since President Bush declared an end to major combat May 1, 51 U.S. troops have died in hostile action in Iraq. A total of 249 U.S. troops have been killed since the war began in March. (Interactive: U.S. deaths)

• A British judge leading an inquiry into the death of British weapons expert David Kelly said Friday the he would question Prime Minister Tony Blair and Defense Minister Geoff Hoon. Kelly, 59, who apparently committed suicide last month, was at the center of a dispute over Iraqi weapons that has rocked Great Britain. The top U.K. judge said the testimony of Blair and Hoon would be part of his inquiry into how Kelly's name became public as the source of a BBC report that the British government had "sexed up" claims about Iraq's weapons programs. (Full story)

CNN Baghdad bureau chief Jane Arraf and correspondents Harris Whitbeck, Rym Brahimi and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.


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