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Saddam's son claims recovery from bullet wounds

Baghdad (AP) - Saddam Hussein's eldest son, Uday, has recovered from wounds he received during an assassination attempt in December and left hospital yesterday.

"Uday Saddam Hussein left Ibn Sina hospital at 2pm today following his complete recovery from the treacherous and despicable attack on him on 12 December," the Iraqi News Agency reported. An official at Uday's office later said that Youth television would broadcast footage of the Iraqi leader's son leaving the hospital.

Uday, who had been widely seen as his father's heir apparent, has been hospitalised since December when gunmen shot him about 10 times while he waited in his car in the upmarket Al-Mansoura neighbourhood in Baghdad. Since then, he has been seen on television several times, moving his arms but never his legs.

He told reporters after undergoing surgery on 20 April that doctors had operated on his shattered left leg. But Western diplomats and opposition figures outside Iraq said doctors had removed a bullet lodged near his spine.

Uday said that after the surgery he should be able to resume his usual activities in two to three months and play sports within six months.

Prior to the assassination attempt, which he blamed on neighbouring Iran, Uday ran the information and trade ministries. He owns and runs Youth television and the newspaper Babel. He also heads Iraq's Olympic committee and runs the national football federation. In April, his Youth television showed footage of him driving a red Porsche convertible in the area where the attempt on his life took place.