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Saddam’s son shown driving

May 1, 1997

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ Saddam Hussein’s eldest son appeared on Iraqi television Wednesday, driving a Red Porsche convertible in the neighborhood where he was shot during an assassination attempt in December.

The broadcast apparently was an attempt to show that Odai Hussein, the Iraqi president’s heir apparent, was on the road to recovery.

On Dec. 12, he was shot about 10 times as he waited in his car in the posh Al-Mansoura suburb of Baghdad. Since then, he had been seen on television moving his arms but not his legs. Iraq has sought to dispel rumors that he was paralyzed.

Iraq’s Youth Television, which is owned by Odai, showed a young man, apparently a bodyguard, also sitting in the car. The broadcast did not say when the film was made or make any comment.

Youth Television also showed Odai, 33, meeting with well-wishers, including popular Iraqi singer Kadhem al-Saher. Odai was shown sitting on a chair in what appeared to be a hospital room. Again, he moved his arms but not his legs.

After undergoing surgery on April 20, Odai told reporters that doctors had operated on his shattered left leg. But Western diplomats and opposition figures said surgeons had removed a bullet lodged near his spine.

After the surgery, Odai said he expected he’d be able to resume his usual activities in two to three months and play sports within six months.

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