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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Pentagon: Four High-Level Iraqis Caught or Surrender

Aired April 23, 2003 - 17:45   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And let's go for a third time this hour to our senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre. There's more news coming from the Pentagon -- Jamie.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf.

Well it turns out this was a big day for the U.S. in whittling down that list of the top 55. We just learned again, just in this hour, that two more have been captured from the two we reported previously. This latest capture includes a man listed as the queen of diamonds in the deck of cards of the most wanted, Muzahim Sa'b Hasan Al-Tikriti. He is identified as air-defense force commander.

And also captured today or come into U.S. hands is the six of hearts in the deck of cards, Muhammad Mahdi Al-Salih, the minister of trade.

Now these two captures, along with the two we have reported earlier today. One of those was not in the deck of cards. Ge was the head of the American intelligence desk and he's believed to have information about Iraqis who may be spying in the United States.

But if you add it all up now, of the 55 most wanted, 11 are in custody. Three others are accounted for. They're believed to be dead. And one of the significant captures today not on that list of the top 55. So the U.S. is whittling down the list and the other important thing is they're getting people who will be able to provide them with key information as they try to find weapons of mass destruction, find other regime leaders and also try to piece together what happened in the final days of the regime -- Wolf.

BLITZER: They seem to be falling like a house of cards. Fourteen of them either captured or --or dead and perhaps others are dead as well. Jamie McIntyre, thanks for the third time this hour. We're standing by, if you get any more. You're welcome to come back on. Jamie McIntyre breaking news on this program.

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