Former Iraqi deputy prime minister, Tareq Aziz, is still alive, the U.S. military in Iraq announced on Saturday, denying television reports that he had died in custody.
"I can confirm that Tareq Aziz is alive, there is no change in his status and he is in our custody," said a spokesman for the U.S.-led prisons authority in Iraq, Barry Johnson.
Earlier, Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television said that Aziz had died in custody, quoting sources in the International Committee of the Red Cross in Iraq.
Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television quoted sources at the Vatican as confirming the death of Aziz, who was the only Christian member of Saddam Hussein's cabinet.
One of 55 former Iraqi officials posted on a "most-wanted" list by U.S.-led forces following their invasion, Aziz, 68, surrendered in April last year and has been in U.S. custody ever since.
Meanwhile, in Amman, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross said, "We cannot confirm the death of Tareq Aziz. We have no information on the matter." (Albawaba.com)
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