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Iraqi officials said Friday they believe that government forces killed Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, the former deputy of Saddam Hussein who for over a decade was the top fugitive from the ousted regime and became an underground figure involved in Sunni insurgencies, most recently allying with ISIS militants.Reports of Al-Douri's death came as Iraqi forces are trying to push back ISIS fighters in Salahuddin province, where Tikrit is located.The governor of Salahuddin province, Raed al-Jabouri, told the AP that Al-Douri was killed by Iraqi troops and Shiite militiamen in an operation in the Talal Hamreen mountains east of Tikrit, Saddam's hometown, which was retaken from ISIS earlier this month.When Saddam's Baathist regime collapsed as U.S. troops occupied Baghdad, Al-Douri disappeared.When Saddam was killed months later and more regime figures were caught, Al-Douri became the most prominent fugitive -- and U.S. authorities soon linked him to the Sunni insurgencies that erupted against the American occupation and the Shiite-led government that replaced Saddam.
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