Iraq: We Killed Saddam's 'King of Clubs'
Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri is dead, officials say
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2015 10:13 AM CDT
In this photo provided by the US Army on Oct. 21, 2006, the most-wanted Iraqi fugitive, former Saddam Hussein deputy Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, is pictured.   (US Army via AP)
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(Newser) – The "king of clubs" is dead, according to a report on Iraqi state TV. Iraqi officials appearing on TV said Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri was killed by Iraqi government forces in a security operation east of Tikrit early today. The government issued a graphic photo it says shows al-Douri's corpse, and DNA tests are underway to confirm it's him, the AP reports. CNN reports Saddam Hussein's former deputy had been the top-ranking member of the regime to have avoided capture; he appeared as the "king of clubs" in the deck of playing cards given to US troops so they could identify key members of Hussein's inner circle.

Al-Douri, who reportedly helped finance a Sunni insurgency in Iraq after the collapse of the regime and more recently was said to have allied himself with members of ISIS, was reportedly shot dead along with nine bodyguards while riding in a convoy. Today's operation saw Iraqi security forces gain control of a contested area south of the country's largest oil refinery as they work to secure the rest of Salahuddin province after recapturing Tikrit.