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$10 million reward set for Saddam deputy
( 2003-11-20 09:35) (CNN.com)

The U.S. military on Wednesday announced a $10 million reward for information leading to the capture of Saddam Hussein's top deputy, who is believed to be behind many of the insurgent attacks in Iraq.

Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri is the second most-wanted Iraqi behind Saddam. Both men remain at large.

Al-Douri was the vice chairman of Iraq's Revolutionary Command Council and is No. 6 on the list of the 55 most-wanted Iraqis. Of the other top six, three have been killed, and one is in custody.

The Bush administration has offered up to $25 million for information leading to Saddam's arrest or proof of his death.

The U.S. military is stepping up its offensive against the anti-coalition insurgency, leveling houses and buildings used by suspected Iraqi guerrillas.

On Sunday, soldiers used rockets to destroy al-Douri's house near Kirkuk in northern Iraq. The house was one of more than a dozen structures the U.S. military has demolished in recent days.

"I think it demonstrates our resolve," Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, said Tuesday at a Baghdad briefing. "This is war. And we're going to prosecute the war not holding one hand behind our back. When we identify positively an enemy target, we're going to go ahead and take it out with every means available."

Pentagon officials reject any comparison to Israeli military tactics in the West Bank and Gaza, saying the U.S. actions are aimed at eliminating military targets -- not punishing sympathizers.

"Coalition forces are continuing to target any building that may be used by anti-coalition forces to plan attacks, produce weapons or harbor insurgents," a Pentagon spokesman said.

In other action, U.S. gunships pounded suspected anti-coalition targets throughout the Iraqi capital for a sixth night Tuesday as part of Operation Iron Hammer, a large-scale crackdown against insurgents.

Explosions could be heard in different parts of Baghdad. A coalition military spokesman said the blasts came from U.S.-led forces.

The assault was spearheaded by AC-130 gunships and conducted by the 1st Armored Division, another coalition source said.

Bush defends Iraq war

President Bush marked the first full day of his state visit to Britain with a key speech defending the invasion of Iraq.

Bush, who arrived in London late Tuesday amid heavy security, made the case that war is sometimes necessary to defend a nation's values.

"In some cases, the measured use of force is all that protects us from a chaotic world ruled by force," Bush said Wednesday during his speech near Buckingham Palace.

"We can't turn a blind eye to oppression just because that oppression is not in our own back yard," he said. "Who will say that Iraq was better off when Saddam Hussein was strutting and killing or that the world was safer when he held power?"

Earlier Wednesday, booming cannons honored Bush with a 41-gun salute at Buckingham Palace, and the royal band played the U.S. national anthem.

Also Wednesday, demonstrators held a sit-down demonstration outside the palace and later started streaming into Trafalgar Square. Most held signs saying "Stop Bush," while others donned elaborate costumes and carried effigies of the U.S. leader. Two protesters were arrested.

On Tuesday night, a crowd of more than 2,000 turned out in central London to hear anti-war speakers, including British lawmaker George Galloway, ousted from the Labor Party for his outspoken criticism of the Iraqi invasion; American anti-war activist Ron Kovic; and playwright Harold Pinter.

The largest demonstration is expected Thursday, when an estimated 100,000 people may turn out in Trafalgar Square. Demonstrators plan to topple an effigy of Bush in a display evoking the downing of the Saddam statue this year in Baghdad, organizers said.

Other developments

A top official with the Iraqi Education Ministry has been assassinated in Diwaniyah province by unknown assailants, Iraqi Education Minister Ala'a Abdul Sahib al-Alwan said Wednesday. Hmud Kadhim, the ministry's director-general in that province, was gunned down Monday on his way to work, al-Alwan said. He said an investigation is under way.

Video clips showing what appears to be attacks on American forces in Iraq have begun appearing on an Arab Web site. One video, filmed from a nearby parked car, apparently shows an American Humvee blowing up, on what the Web site says is a Baghdad street. Another shows a Humvee coming under machine-gun fire in what the Web site said is a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad. A U.S. Central Command spokesman had no comment on the tapes.

Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Rome on Tuesday to pay their final respects to 19 Italians killed in a truck bombing last week in Iraq.

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