Aziz apparently in U.S. hands, Pentagon officials say

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON – U.S. forces in Iraq apparently have taken custody of Tariq Aziz, the former Iraqi deputy prime minister, Pentagon officials said Thursday.

No details on the circumstances of the capture or surrender were immediately available.

Aziz is one of the best-known members of the Iraqi leadership. On the U.S. list of the 55 most-wanted members of the former government, he was No. 43.

Two Pentagon officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they believed Aziz was in U.S. custody. Both said they were awaiting confirmation from U.S. Central Command headquarters in Qatar.

Aziz was perhaps the most-recognized public face of the Iraqi government, other than President Saddam Hussein. He sometimes presented the Iraqi case against accusations by the United States and United Nations.