Apr 18, 8:51 AM EDT

Footage Appears to Show Saddam in Public April 9

Associated Press Writer

DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- Abu Dhabi television aired pictures Thursday of Saddam Hussein in the streets of Baghdad, greeted by an enthusiastic crowd as he waved and was hoisted onto a car hood to greet his fellow Iraqis.

The video tape was immediately carried by CNN. Abu Dhabi television said it was taken April 9 - just over a week ago - as U.S. forces moved into Baghdad.

Clad in a beret and olive military uniform, Saddam moved through the crowd as people cheered: "With our bloods and souls we redeem you, Oh Saddam." Helped by guards, Saddam ascended the hood of a car and appeared a bit embarrassed as he took in cheers. Some of those cheering him held AK-47 assault rifles.

Alongside him stood a man who resembled his younger son, Qusai. Though there was nothing to indicate definitively when the pictures were shot, haze was visible in the background that could have been dust - but also could have been smoke from U.S. bombardments.

Abu Dhabi TV's correspondent, Jaber Obeid, said the person who handed the tape to the network assured them that it was shot in Baghdad on April 9.

The station said the pictures, taken in the Azamiyah neighborhood of Baghdad, "showed that there were parts of Baghdad that hadn't fallen at that day and that still had Iraqi security presence in them."

Saddam has been known to use doubles for protection. The man shown in the pictures resembled him but appeared smaller and slighter than the Iraqi president and showed a visible belly paunch.

The video tape was shot from a distance and alternated between zooming in on Saddam and panning the crowd that was rushing him. In the video, Saddam has a large gold chain around his neck and appears both pleased and haggard.

The United States is still searching for Saddam inside Iraq, especially in Baghdad and the city of Tikrit, his hometown. Resolving the fate of Saddam - either capturing him or killing him - would be a major step for American forces in their invasion of Iraq.