Izzat al-Douri, Saddam Hussein's right-hand man, 'killed in shoot-out'

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By Sarah Taylor  with Al Arabiya, Reuters
Izzat al-Douri, Saddam Hussein's right-hand man, 'killed in shoot-out'

He was known as the King of Clubs in the U.S. military’s card deck of most-wanted Iraqis.

Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri has been killed, according to the governor of Iraq’s Salahuddin Province.

Al-Douri, the last of former leader Saddam Hussein’s henchmen still at large in Iraq, is said to have died during a shootout in the Hamrin Mountain range. It lies around 54 kilometres northeast of the provincial capital Tikrit, which was Saddam Hussein’s native town.

Iraqi state television channel, Al Arabiya, says government troops and allied Shia militiamen took him down,along with nine bodyguards.

It’s not the first time al-Douri has been reported dead. However, the above photo has been published on the Al Arabiya website, showing a corpse bearing a resemblance to Saddam’s former right-hand man.

DNA has been sent for testing.

Ties with ISIL?

Reports suggest al-Douri had ties with the ISIL militant group, which is battling to take control of Iraq and form an Islamic caliphate in the region. However, the outlawed Ba’ath Party, which he took over following Saddam’s death, has denounced the extremist group.

The party rejects claims that its leader has been killed.