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[casi] U.S. Wraps Barbed Wire Around 'Free' Iraq Village

Friday 31 October 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - American soldiers on Friday sealed off the village
where Saddam Hussein was born and ordered adults to register for identity
cards, while insurgents mounted a series of harassing attacks on U.S.
military and Iraqi government targets in the northern city of Mosul.

 Starting around midnight Thursday, U.S. soldiers, Iraqi police and civil
defense forces moved into Uja, a small dusty village about 10 miles
southeast of Tikrit.

 Soldiers stretched concertina wire around the perimeter of the village and
established checkpoints. Residents over the age of 18 will be required to
have registration cards to move in and out of the village, U.S. officers

  The New York Times reported Friday that senior U.S. officials believe the
former Iraqi leader, who is believed to have been on the run since U.S.
forces took over Baghdad in April, is playing a major role in coordinating
and directing attacks against American troops.

  ``This is an effort to protect the majority of the population, the people
who want to get on with their lives,'' said Lt. Col. Steve Russell,
commander of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry

 Russell said he did not know whether Saddam was directing parts of the
insurgency, but the village is the family home of many former Baathist
regime members.

  ``There are ties leading to this village, to the funding and planning of
attacks against U.S. soldiers,'' Russell said.

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