Uday tells viewers he is `fine'

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The Independent Online
Baghdad (AP) - The eldest son of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein appeared on Iraqi television yesterday for the first time since an assassination attempt last week and said he was recovering from his wounds.

"I'm fine," Uday Hussein told Al-Shabab Television, which he owns. "I'm recovering."

The film was apparently made yesterday during a visit to Uday's hospital room by a Qatari envoy, who was identified as a son of Qatar's emir, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. The victim's brother, Qusai, also was there.

The film, also broadcast on Jordan television, showed Uday in what appeared to be a hospital room. A sheet covered him from his chest to his feet.

There was no indication of injury to his face or neck - where Iraqi opposition groups said he had been hit by the attackers last Thursday.

The film was aired amid reports from Jordan that two French physicians were summoned to Baghdad to treat Uday. There was speculation that this indicated his condition was more serious than previously thought.

An official Iraqi report issued after the shooting said Uday was slightly injured, but Iraqi opposition sources maintained he was seriously wounded and had undergone several operations.

Iraqi opposition sources have said that in last week's attack, the assailants fired machine guns and hurled grenades at Uday's car. But there was no official confirmation of that account.

Security forces in Baghdad reportedly rounded up 120 people after the assassination attempt, but it was unclear how many remained in custody.