SADDAM 'MAY HAVE BEEN KILLED'

SADDAM Hussein may have been killed in the first few hours of the war yesterday morning, US intelligence officers said today.They suggested that the Iraqi president may have been injured or even killed in the cruise missile attack on one of his compounds.

SADDAM Hussein may have been killed in the first few hours of the war yesterday morning, US intelligence officers said today.

They suggested that the Iraqi president may have been injured or even killed in the cruise missile attack on one of his compounds.

Senior military analysts believe Saddam was still inside a bunker in his Baghdad compound when it was hit in an attack by 36 cruise missiles.

A senior US official told the Washington Post: "The evidence is he was there when the building blew up. He didn't get out."


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Doctors were reportedly rushed to the compound after the strike, heightening speculation that Saddam or one of his sons was injured.

Experts believe the man shown in a TV broadcast after the missile strike probably was Saddam Hussein, but the broadcast may have been pre-recorded.

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Meanwhile, allied troops expect to be in Baghdad within three or four days, British army sources said today.

Their upbeat assessment came just hours after the allies suffered their first casualties in the war: eight British marines and four US air crew killed when their helicopter crashed in the Kuwaiti desert.

Allied forces are pushing in on several fronts and a news blackout has been imposed on some of the journalists travelling with the troops – including the Evening Star's James Fraser.

James is with the 16th Air Assault Brigade in southern Iraq. The last time we spoke to him was yesterday afternoon, when he called to say a blackout was being put on dispatches from the war zone.

The 16th is believed to be one of many regiments on the move in southern Iraq today.

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