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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Graphic Images Of Dead Husseins Shown To the World

Aired July 24, 2003 - 19:01   ET

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

ANDERSON COOPER, ANCHOR: First, the images we are about to show you are graphic and gruesome but U.S. officials say they need to be seen.
The interim civilian authority in Iraq today released these images, what it says are after-death photos of Uday and Qusay Hussein. It was an effort to convince Iraqis the once-feared brothers really are dead.

But even as they were circulated there was evidence their father remains alive and potentially dangerous.

CIA experts have concluded that the voice on an audiotape released yesterday is likely that of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The tape is said to have been recorded Sunday, two days before Saddam's sons were killed.

Three Americans died today when a convoy was attack with small arms fired and rocket-propelled grenades. They were from the Army's 101st Airborne Division, which took part in the raid that killed Saddam's sons.

And that brings the total of Americans killed in Iraq since May 1 to 101, 44 of those in combat.

U.S. officials hope attacks on Americans will subside as Iraqis conclude the old regime is truly gone forever. The release of the photos today is certainly an effort to prove that the former ruling family no longer poses a threat. The question is, is the strategy working?

For that and more, we turn to CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson in Baghdad -- Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, when the coalition provisional authority handed out to wire services today those pictures of Uday and Qusay, it took about 15 or 20 minutes for the pictures to turn up on television for people to be able to see them here in Baghdad.

And very quickly, people were drawn to their sets to have a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Dark, grainy and a little hard to identify, the first post mortem images of Uday and Qusay drawing rampant attention. In Baghdad's cafes, division over whether or not the pictures proved the brothers are dead.

"The pictures are true," he says, "but the Americans should have talked them into surrendering so we could judge them."

"I'm not convinced," this man says. "The two brothers wouldn't risk being in the same place."

At a nearby Internet cafe, more dispute over the pictures.

"I think it's a fabrication," he says, "a fabrication by the American CIA."

"If it's true they're did," this man says, "I believe it will be the end of Saddam's remnants."

On coalition-run Iraqi television, less graphic black and white images aired.

At Iraqi newspapers, more widely available here than television, consensus that most Iraqis are not likely to believe the coalition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the promises were planned by George W. Bush before the start of the war couldn't be met by the coalition forces.

ROBERTSON: For a former doctor of Uday and Qusay, appearing on a satellite channel watched here, no doubt the pair are dead.

DR. SALAH AL SHEMRI, FORMER HUSSEIN DOCTOR (through translator): The pictures of Uday and Qusay are 100 percent accurate.

ROBERTSON: Possibly the most convincing argument for Iraqis that the brothers are dead coming from the so-called New Fedayeen Fighters in a taped statement delivered to another Arab broadcaster seen in Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): To the occupiers who said last evening the killing of Uday and Qusay would decrease the attacks on the invaders, we want to say to them that the deaths of Uday and Qusay will increase the attacks on the soldiers.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTSON: Three U.S. soldiers killed this day in a gun and grenade attack. And significantly, this attack not only the most deadly on U.S. troops since the end of the war but happening close to where Uday and Qusay were killed, something perhaps these that fighters were alluding to, Anderson.

COOPER: Nic, I've heard some reports that this informant who allegedly gave the information to get the U.S. forces to the two sons of Hussein will be getting a share of the $30 million award, the bounty that was put on their heads.

What's known at this point about the informant?

ROBERTSON: Well, the people who live around the house in Mosul where the attack took place said that they believed it was the owner of the house. They said they think that because he'd already told people Uday and Qusay were staying at his house. We know people who he'd visited. He told us the same thing.

Neighbors also say that he got his wife and family out of the house early the morning before the raid.

And a soldier who was outside the house told us as well, indicated as well. When we said, "Who was the informant?"

He said, "Well, the neighbors know who the owner of the house was."

So it does seem that perhaps it was the owner of the house, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Nic Robertson, live in Baghdad. Thanks very much.

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