We've captured Saddam bodyguards, says US general

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The Independent Online

American troops captured five to 10 people believed to be members of Saddam Hussein's personal security detail, a senior US general said today.

Maj. Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of the 4th Infantry Division, said they were held after a raid yesterday on a house south of Tikrit and followed a tip-off.

Tikrit is Saddam's hometown and a base for continuing support for his deposed regime.

Asked whether he believed US forces were closing in on Saddam, Odierno said it was unclear whether the newly-captured members of his security detail had been protecting him recently.

Odierno said US troops also have spoken with a wife of Saddam. He did not identify her.

"We continue to tighten the noose," he said.