Tuesday 27 September 2016

Tariq Aziz's body 'missing in Iraq'

Published 11/06/2015 | 20:01

Tariq Aziz died last week in prison in Iraq (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)
Tariq Aziz died last week in prison in Iraq (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)

The body of Tariq Aziz, Saddam Hussein's former top aide who died in prison on Iraq last week, has gone missing, his daughter has claimed.

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Zeinab Aziz said she was told by her mother, who is in Iraq, that her father's body was snatched at Baghdad International Airport while en route to Jordan for burial.

No further details were available.

A Royal Jordanian official confirmed the last flight left Baghdad without Aziz's casket.

Aziz died last Friday in the city of Nasiriyah, where he was imprisoned awaiting execution.

Iraqi forensics chief Zaid Ali Abbas said results of a post-mortem examination confirmed he died of a heart attack.

Aziz was the highest-ranking Christian in Saddam's regime and was the international face of the Baath Party in Iraq. He was sentenced in October 2010 to hang for persecuting members of the Shiite Muslim religious parties that now dominate Iraq.

In recent months, a number of other former Saddam loyalists have been suspected of working with the Islamic State militants in what is viewed as a Sunni alliance of convenience against the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.

Another senior Saddam aide, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, is suspected of working directly with the Sunni militant group. In April, a number of Iraqi government officials and members of the country's Iran-backed Shiite militias announced that al-Douri had been killed in fighting near Tikrit. But DNA results were never released to confirm the death as promised.

Aziz's daughter, obviously distraught, would not speculate or who may have snatched the body and for what purpose. In Baghdad, Aziz's wife Violet and airport officials were also not available for comment.

Press Association

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