[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 1 August, 2003, 21:54 GMT 22:54 UK
Saddam daughter tells of 'betrayal'
Raghad Saddam Hussein
Raghad said insiders had betrayed her father
Saddam Hussein's eldest daughter has accused his aides of "betraying" the deposed Iraqi president.

In an interview with al-Arabiya TV in Amman, Raghad Saddam Hussein said insiders working against her father caused the fall of Baghdad to US-led forces in April.

"It was a big shock. It was clear, unfortunately the people who he had absolutely trusted... as I understood, the main betrayal was by them," she was quoted as saying.

Raghad Saddam Hussein and her sister Rana have recently arrived in Jordan with their nine children - they are not wanted members of the old Iraqi regime.

The women have been given asylum in Jordan after arriving from the United Arab Emirates.

The people who he had absolutely trusted... as I understood, the main betrayal was by them
Raghad Saddam Hussein
A spokeswoman for Jordan's King Abdullah told the BBC that the country had agreed to host them and their children for "humanitarian reasons".

The interview came on the day al-Jazeera television aired a new audio tape purporting to be from the Iraqi leader.

In the recording, the speaker urges Iraqis to fight US forces occupying Iraq and evict them from the country.

The US Central Intelligence Agency says its analysis of the tape found a "high likelihood" that the tape was genuine.

Saddam Hussein: New enhanced images

It was the second audio tape purportedly by Saddam broadcast this week. Washington has offered a $25m reward for his capture.

As part of its latest efforts to locate the former Iraqi leader, the US military has issued retouched photographs showing him in different guises, including without a moustache and in Arab headdress.

"The photos have been distributed to units and commanders who are actively involved in the search," said military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Gainer said.

"The main purpose of the photos is to ensure the soldiers have an idea of what Saddam may look like."

US officials said on Friday they had arrested a man suspected of organising attacks on American soldiers near Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit.

Lieutenant Colonel Steve Russell said it was believed that the man had also helped to protect senior supporters of Saddam Hussein.

'Hugging and crying'

In her TV interview, Raghad spoke of her experiences as Baghdad surrendered, saying that when she saw the Iraqi army withdrawing, the soldiers were "terrified".

She said she spent the night before Baghdad's fall listening to the radio in the Mansour district of the capital, along with Rana and their children.

On the day the city surrendered, she said her father sent a car from the special security forces, "who told us to leave".

Qusay (left) and Uday Hussein
Saddam's sons Uday (right) and Qusay were hate figures in Iraq
The wife of her brother, Qusay and her children were with them too, she said.

"The farewell moments were terrible. The boys were hugging each other and crying. We left Baghdad. Then I met my mother after a few hours and Hala [younger sister]."

They were put in a house on Baghdad's outskirts, she said.

"There was almost no link with (my) father and brothers because everything was over."

Raghad and Rana were married to two senior Iraqi officials who defected to Jordan in 1995.

The two men returned to Baghdad with their wives the following year believing they had been pardoned by their father-in-law, only to be killed as traitors.

Earlier this week US Secretary of State Colin Powell approved a $30m reward for the person who led American forces to the former Iraqi leader's sons, Uday and Qusay.

Both of them died in a shoot-out with US forces in the northern city of Mosul on 22 July.

Reports have named Nawaf al-Zaidan, an Iraqi tribal leader who owned the villa where the men took refuge, as the man who betrayed the brothers.

The BBC's Caroline Hawley
"Raghdad appears in public for the first time since the war"

Raghad Hussein, Saddam Hussein's daughter
"It was a case of betrayal"

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific