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Middle East

Saddam reportedly held at military base in Qatar

| Friday, April 9, 2004

LONDON -- Deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is being held at a U.S. military base in Qatar, rather than in Iraq.

Following his capture by U.S. forces in December last year, Saddam was first moved to a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Gulf for interrogation, a British newspaper reported, without citing its sources.

He was then -- at a time not specified by the report -- transferred to Qatar under great secrecy, with even the state's royal family not informed of his presence.

Major violence in Iraq over recent days meant Qatar was now seen as a far safer place to keep the ousted leader, the paper added.

In December, Qatar's government dismissed earlier news reports that Saddam had been moved to the emirate, while Iraq's interim Governing Council insisted that he was still being held in Baghdad.

At the end of the last month, Saddam's wife left Syria for Qatar, according to a Jordanian lawyer who says she retained him to represent her husband.

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