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[casi] article: Saddam bunker never existed

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Saddam bunker targeted on opening night of Iraq war never existed — report
WASHINGTON (AFP) — An underground bunker in Baghdad which the United States
said it targeted on the first night of the Iraq to assassinated President
Saddam Hussein never existed, a US television network reported.
US planes hit the Dora Farms complex in southern Baghdad with bombs and cruise
missiles on March 20 but US teams who have searched the site since the fall of
Saddam's regime on April 9 have found no trace of the bunker or any bodies,
CBS news reported late Wednesday.
“When we came out here the primary thing they were looking for was an
underground facility, or bodies, forensics,” CBS quoted Colonel Tim Madere,
the head of the search operation as saying.
“And basically what they saw was giant holes created. No underground
facilities, no bodies.”
CBS, which said it was the first news organisation to visit Dora Farms,
reported that every structure in the compound was destroyed, except the main
palace, which was hidden behind a wall topped by electrified barbed wire.
“It's a shambles, windows have been blown out, but it is not destroyed,” said
CBS reporter David Martin.
Madere said a person in the house “could have survived.”
The US Air Force dropped four 2,000-pound (900 kilo) bombs on the site because
intelligence said there was a bunker complex hidden beneath the buildings. But
Madere has yet to find it.
The compound has been searched three times, once by the Central Intelligence
Agency and twice by Madere, who is trying to find traces of Saddam's DNA to
see if he has been killed.
The fate of the Iraqi leader and his family remains unknown though press
reports have said that one of his notorious sons, Uday, has tried to negotiate
his surrender with the US authorities.
After the March 20 raid, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld insisted that
the strike had been “successful” while other military leaders said that Saddam
had been in the bunker he would probably have been killed.
But the United States acknowledged the likely failure of the spectacular
opening night assault when it launched a second raid aimed at killing Saddam
on April 7.
Friday-Saturday, May 30-31, 2003


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