The US military raided a house in northern Iraq today, reportedly the home of one of Saddam Hussein's cousins. Four people inside were killed, including Saddam's two sons Odai and Qusai. The home has been a suspected hideout for top-level former members of Saddam's regime, and this morning a huge firefight erupted when US soldiers surrounded it in the town of Mosul
After a six-hour gunfight, the pentagon confirms that four Iraqis were killed when US troops stormed the house. It sparked a shootout between members of the 101st Airborne Division and gunmen holed up inside the compound.
"We are certain that Odai and Qusai were killed today," said Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez in a briefing from Baghdad. Sanchez says they died in a "fierce gun battle."
Saddam's sons were two of the most feared and powerful members of his regime. Thirty-seven-year-old Qusai was the younger son and heir apparent. He held wide-ranging powers over the nation's ruthless security. Iraqis nicknamed him "the Snake" for his bloodthirsty, but low-profile manner.
Sources tell CBS news that 39-year-old Odai was known as the erratic murderer who controlled propaganda in Iraq and allegedly oversaw the torture of athletes who failed to perform. Iraqi exiles say Odai murdered and tortured at will and routinely ordered guards to snatch young women off the streets so he could rape them.
There were two $15 million rewards being offered for information that help Coalition forces find Saddam's sons. It will be paid to the person who walked in last night and gave the tip.
Saddam Hussein's 14-year-old grandson is believed to be one of the two others killed. No American forces were injured. As for Saddam Hussein, there is still no word on where he might be.