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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 May, 2003, 17:15 GMT 18:15 UK
Top Saddam official surrenders
General Kamal Mustafa Abdallah Sultan al-Tikriti
The general is the second most-wanted official taken this week

A leading former member of Iraq's Republican Guard has given himself up, the US military says.

General Kamal Mustafa Abdallah Sultan al-Tikriti - a cousin of ousted president Saddam Hussein and secretary general of the guard - is reported to have surrendered in Baghdad.

He is number 10 on a revised US list of the 55 most-wanted members of the former Iraqi Government and one of the most senior Iraqi officials caught so far.

He surrendered to coalition forces early this morning in Baghdad
CentCom statement
US officials say more than half of those on the list have now either been caught or have turned themselves in.

American officials say the captives are being actively interrogated, and will be tried in Iraqi courts.

In other developments:

  • The remains of up 600 Kuwaiti prisoners are uncovered in a mass grave near the Iraqi town of Habbaniya, south-west of Baghdad

  • The northern oil city of Kirkuk is to become the latest city in Iraq - after Mosul and Umm Qasr - to install a new city council, the US commander in the region, Major General Ray Odierno, tells the Associated Press

  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) accuses Saddam Hussein's son, Uday, of torturing and jailing athletes when he was president of Iraq's national Olympic squad.

The occupying powers in Iraq introduced measures this week to purge high-ranking Baath Party members from public service and said street patrols and arrests had been stepped up in Baghdad to try and bring order to the capital.

Troops arrested 129 people during more than 400 patrols in Baghdad over the past 24 hours for offences ranging from looting to shooting at US forces, Major General William Webster said.

The US army has posted an additional 9,000 soldiers to Baghdad to combat the crime wave that has swept the capital since it fell in April, he said.

"We are concerned a lot about security. It is our top priority," he said, adding that only two police stations were currently operational in Baghdad.

"We want to rebuild a viable Iraqi police department. It is not there yet. We did not expect the entire armed forces of Iraq to leave their equipment and put on civilian clothes," the general said.

Close to Saddam

General Sultan spent almost his entire career in the Republican Guard and is considered to be part of Saddam Hussein's inner circle.

His brother is married to the former leader's youngest daughter, Hala.

A statement issued by the US Central Command on his capture gave few details as to the circumstances of his surrender.

The general is the second high ranking official to be taken into custody in recent days.

Adil Abdallah Mahdi al-Duri al-Tikriti, Baath Party regional command chairman for the Dhi Qar district near Tikrit, was picked up by the US military on Thursday.

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