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Tabloid prints more Hussein photos

Paper also shows 'Chemical Ali'

BAGHDAD -- A British tabloid published more surreptitious photographs of Saddam Hussein in US custody along with two former members of his regime yesterday, a day after it ran a front-page picture of the former Iraqi leader clad only in his underwear.

The international Red Cross, which is responsible for monitoring prisoners of war and detainees, said the photographs violated Hussein's right to privacy. The US military condemned the publication and ordered an investigation of how the pictures were leaked to The Sun.

Yesterday's pictures included one of Hussein seen through barbed wire wearing a traditional white Arab robe known as a dishdasha, and another of Ali Hassan al-Majid, better known as ''Chemical Ali," in a dark robe and holding a towel.

The Sun also ran photos of a man and a woman identified as Majid, who faces charges for his role in poison gas attacks against Iraq's Kurdish minority, and Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, a researcher dubbed ''Mrs. Anthrax" for her alleged role in trying to develop bioweapons for Hussein.

The photos have not provoked much of an outcry in the Middle East but raised concerns about offending Arab sensibilities and doing further damage to the American image already tarnished by the prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib prison and a now retracted Newsweek report about the desecration of the Koran at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Hussein's chief lawyer, Ziad al-Khasawneh, said the photos ''add to acts that are practiced against the Iraqi people." He said he would sue The Sun ''and everyone who helped in showing these pictures."

Some Iraqis and other Arabs called the photos of Hussein the latest in a series of insults to Muslims. Others, however, said the humiliation is just what the 68-year-old former dictator deserved.

Interior Minister Bayan Jabr of Iraq said he did not know how the pictures were taken but he did not believe the US military was involved.

''I don't believe that these pictures were taken by the US Army or coalition forces," he said in Baghdad, but he did not elaborate.

Newspaper coverage varied across the region. Iraq's Al-Mutumar newspaper ran a small front-page picture of The Sun's cover with Hussein in his underwear alongside a short story. The Azzaman published a larger spread featuring the same front page.

The Asharq Al-Awsat, based in London, devoted its entire front page to a photo of Hussein washing some clothes. The Arab daily said it had permission to use the picture.

Al-Arabiya satellite television station aired footage of the photographs from the newspaper's Friday and Saturday editions, though Al-Jazeera did not, citing ethical and professional reasons.

The photos also were splashed on the front pages of newspapers in Kuwait, where Hussein was despised for his 1990 invasion.

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