Home>News Center>World

Saddam spent 67th birthday in captivity
Updated: 2004-04-29 09:56

There were no military parades or giant cakes, no golden carriages or schoolchildren dressed in white. Saddam Hussein's 67th birthday passed without a whisper Wednesday in the streets of his hometown of Tikrit, where residents said U.S. soldiers ordered schools and universities closed, and where extravagant celebrations once marked the day.

International Red Cross officials visited Saddam Hussein at his secret prison on April 27, 2004. Hussein is seen after his capture Dec. 13. [Reuters]
At that time, about 200 people gathered in Tikrit waving Iraqi flags on his birthday, a celebration that was broken up when U.S. soldiers in Humvees with mounted machine guns arrived and threatened to use force.

Shops in Tikrit, 70 miles north of Baghdad, were open Wednesday and there were people in the streets, residents said.

U.S. forces ordered no special curfews because of the birthday, said Maj. Neal E. O'Brien, a U.S. military spokesman.

But schools and universities were closed at the Americans' request, residents said. O'Brien had no immediate information on such a closure.

Saddam has been in U.S. custody since his capture in December. On Tuesday, he was visited by a team from the International Committee of the Red Cross to see his conditions. Saddam has been held in an undisclosed location undergoing FBI and CIA interrogation.

Tikrit is part of the Sunni triangle, an overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim part of central Iraq that was Saddam's key power base. Fighting in the area has been sharp -- though not of the scale seen at another stronghold of Saddam support, the city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad.

  Today's Top News     Top World News

New suspected SARS case; lab visitors warned



Illegal land use sinks iron project



112 die in Thailand's quash of militants



Senator brands Cheney 'lead chickenhawk'



Reform on officials' car use in the offing



New Oriental language school set to appeal


  112 die in Thailand's quash of militants
  Iraqis polled: War did more harm than good
  Japanese hold 'funeral' for chickens
  Annan lashes at critics on Iraq oil, food scandal
  Saddam spent 67th birthday in captivity
  UN council unanimously adopts terrorist arms ban
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
Saddam gets birthday eve visit from Red Cross
Iraqi tribunal to try Saddam
US troops in bloody battles on Saddam anniversary
Report: Blix says Iraq worse off after war
Saddam being held in Qatar: report
BBC slammed for rap claiming royals killed Diana
US officials say Saddam's not talking
  News Talk  
  Will the new national flag fly?