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Commander says Saddam likely holed up in Tikrit

SHARE Commander says Saddam likely holed up in Tikrit

TIKRIT, Iraq — Saddam Hussein probably is in hiding in or around his hometown of Tikrit, the commander of American troops there said today.

Maj. Gen. Ray Odierno said troops from the 4th Infantry Division had captured several of Saddam's former bodyguards in the past month.

"If he makes a mistake, we'll have him," Odierno said.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld met in Tikrit with Odierno as part of his tour of Iraq. Rumsfeld also traveled to Mosul, where he met with local Iraqi officials and commanders of the 101st Airborne Division.

Rumsfeld spoke to U.S. troops, thanking them for bringing freedom to Iraq and warning that more hardships remain.

Local officials in Mosul asked Rumsfeld for help in several areas, including increasing the supply of diesel fuel, and speeding up the privatization of local businesses.

Rumsfeld replied that he agreed privatization was a good idea for Iraq's ailing economy.

"This country has decades of doing things exactly the wrong way — nationally governmentally owned and nationally controlled," he said.

Rumsfeld also said he was optimistic about Iraq's future.

"I think we have the formula here for success," Rumsfeld said. "A lot of things have been accomplished. It's not going to be a straight steady path. In the future there will be difficulties."