July 3, 2003 - Posted at: 10:02 a.m. CDT
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S. government is offering a $25 million reward for information leading to the capture of Saddam Hussein or confirmation of his death, in addition to up to $15 million for information leading to his two sons, the occupation administration said Thursday.
The offer was made in a prepared release by the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority and applies to Saddam and both his sons, Udai and Qusai, said Sgt. Amy Abbott, a U.S. military spokeswoman in Baghdad.
Saddam was last reportedly seen alive in the war's waning days in the Azamiyah neighborhood of northeastern Baghdad. At least two U.S. airstrikes targeted him during the war but it is not known if any were successful.
U.S. officials say capturing Saddam and his sons is crucial because the uncertainty surrounding his fate can be used as a rallying point for anti-U.S. forces.
Attacks against occupation forces have been increasing in recent weeks, with at least 26 U.S. troops killed in hostile fire since major combat was officially declared over on May 1.