— By Miral Fahmy
MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. soldiers killed four high-ranking
allies of Saddam Hussein on Tuesday during a fierce four-hour
battle at a villa in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the U.S.
Major Trey Cate of the 101st Airborne Division said 200 soldiers
were sent to the house after receiving a tip that important
members of Saddam's overthrown regime were there.
He declined to identify them, and would not comment on local
rumors that Saddam's sons Uday and Qusay were inside.
American troops blasted the house with machineguns, grenades and
anti-tank missiles after coming under fire from people inside,
Cate said. Helicopters were also used to secure the area. After
the battle, a small group of soldiers went into the house and
brought out four bodies.
Cate said five Iraqis were killed in the battle, including the
four "high-value individuals," and at least five wounded. He
said one U.S. soldier was shot in the chest but was in a stable
Earlier, a senior officer at the scene said the high-ranking
Iraqis had been captured rather than killed.
"Individuals of very high interest to the coalition forces were
hiding out in the building," Lieutenant Colonel William Bishop