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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 July, 2003, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Saddam's rival sons
Saddam Hussein with his elder son Uday (right) in 2000
Saddam with Uday (right): The sons had prominent roles
Both of Saddam Hussein's sons - Qusay and Uday - had been tipped to succeed their father as Iraqi leader at various times.

Before the war in Iraq, US President George W Bush ordered them to leave the country with their father.

Later, the US put them both on a most-wanted list of 55 key figures in the defeated Iraqi regime that they want to try for war crimes, offering a reward of up to $15m each for information leading to their capture.

Under the old regime, both sons built up rival power bases in different areas of the state machinery.

Military power

Qusay, 36, the younger brother, was presumed to be his father's heir apparent and was put in charge of defending Baghdad and Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit.

QUSAY HUSSEIN
Qusay Hussein in 1997
Given key cities to defend in Iraq's war plan
Controlled elite Republican Guard
Was seen as heir apparent
He also ran the elite Republican Guard - Iraq's best trained and equipped army unit entrusted with the protection of the president.

And he controlled the internal security and intelligence, including the Special Security Organisation, the secret police which suppressed opposition to the Baathist regime.

Qusay was thought to have been taking an increasingly important role in the country's foreign affairs, and was believed to have spearheaded Iraq's attempts to rebuild ties with its Arab neighbours before the war.

In May 2001, Qusay was given a leading position in the ruling Baath party. Many commentators in the Arab world cited this move as a clear sign that the struggle for the succession had been decided in his favour.

Qusay was even said to have been controlling the running of day-to-day affairs in Iraq.

Reports in the Western press last year claimed Saddam Hussein had considered formally handing over control to his younger son to counter the threat to his regime from the US.

Media power

For many years, Uday, 39, was widely regarded as heir apparent. But his profile was said to have diminished after an assassination attempt in 1996 that left him barely able to walk.

UDAY HUSSEIN
Uday Hussein in 1996
Ran TV network and newspaper
Considered heir apparent until 1996 assassination attempt
Reputation as volatile and flamboyant
But the elder son still carried considerable influence under his father. He controlled a network of media organizations, including Babil, the most influential newspaper in the country.

He played a more public role than his brother - he was often in the media spotlight, holding meetings with visiting dignitaries.

Before his injuries, he had a reputation for womanising and driving flashy sports cars.

He was well known among Iraqis as a playboy, whose extravagant lifestyle and violent reputation won him little popular support.

In recent years, however, he tried to woo the hearts and minds of the country's youth. He was behind the increasingly popular Voice of Iraq FM radio station, which broadcasts an eclectic mix of American and British music.

He was also head of the Iraqi Football Federation, the state's Youth Union as well as the Iraqi Journalists' Union and the National Union of Iraqi Students.

Over the years, he faced a number of challenges to his most important role as head of the paramilitary Fedayeen Saddam organisation.

Reports in the London-based Arab press last year said he was finally ousted from the militia that played a key role in crushing internal dissent in favour of Qusay.

Both brothers were involved in the lucrative oil-smuggling business.




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