A statement issued in the name of the Baath Party said Friday that Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, the former deputy of Saddam Hussein, had died.
The report was based on an e-mail sent to a Western news agency and signed by the "Arab Socialist Baath Party - Iraq Command." It said al-Douri died at 2:30 a.m. Friday but gave no indication of the cause.
Abdul-Rahman Mohammed Ibrahim, nephew and son-in-law of al-Douri, said he had heard the report on an Arab satellite television station but had no independent confirmation.
Al-Douri, 63, was one of Saddam's longtime lieutenants and officially the No. 2 man in the Baath regime. He was No. 6 on the American "deck of cards" list, The AP reported.
Al-Douri had been rumored to be suffering from a serious illness, possibly leukemia, before Saddam's regime collapsed. Since March 2003, there have been reports about Al-Douri's arrest, but they turned to be false.
Also on Friday, gunmen opened fire at the Embassy of Oman's compound, killing two people and wounding two others, police and hospital officials said.