Another one of the former Iraqi regime officials depicted in the U.S. military's deck of cards has been captured.
Coalition forces have taken a former Baath Party (search) local leader into custody, U.S. Central Command announced Wednesday.
Ghazi Hammud (search), Baath regional chairman in the Kut district, was in coalition hands, Central Command said in a statement.
Hammud is No. 32 on Central Command's list of the 55 most-wanted members of Saddam Hussein's regime, and the "Two of Hearts" on the deck of cards issued to help U.S. soldiers find regime leaders.
The statement did not give details of where or when he was captured, or whether he surrendered or was taken by force.
Twenty of the individuals on Central Command's list are now in custody. Another, former presidential adviser Ali Hasan al-Majid (search) — Saddam's cousin, also known as "Chemical Ali" — was reported killed.
The fate of the most senior former Iraqi leaders, including Saddam and his two sons, Uday and Qusay, remains unknown.
In related news, an Iraqi biological-weapons expert who turned herself in to coalition forces on Sunday had been expelled by Syria, WorldTribune.com reported Wednesday.
Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash (search), dubbed "Mrs. Anthrax," was No. 53 on the most-wanted list and the "Five of Hearts" in the deck of cards.
Officials said her arrest came after strong U.S. pressure on Damascus to surrender Iraqi officials.
WorldTribune.com quoted Middle East Newsline as stating that other officials said Ammash was among several Iraqi weapons scientists urged by Syria to leave the country, and that she might have been in contact with United Nations inspectors to arrange for her surrender.
"She was asked to leave by Syria and then the United States was informed of where she could be found," a Western diplomatic source told WorldTribune.com. "Syria has done this with several other Saddam aides over the last few days."
Ammash's capture came two days after Secretary of State Colin Powell urged Syrian President Bashar Assad to surrender Iraqi scientists and other regime members.
The Washington Times reported Tuesday that French officials in Syria had provided fleeing Iraqi officials with French passports, an allegation that Paris denied.
The U.S. State Department would not confirm the story.
"This account is absurd, unfounded, stupid and malicious," Bernard Valéro, deputy spokesman of France's foreign ministry, told Fox News. "We want to work on real problems, not on stupid polemics with the Americans."
The Times said its information came from trusted intelligence sources.
"If the American government had any serious information to support these charges, we should expect them to contact us directly and demand an explanation," Valéro said. "We have heard nothing from them."
The Times reported Wednesday that U.S. intelligence agencies were intensifying the search in Europe for Iraqi officials.
Asked by Fox News on Tuesday if he could confirm the allegation, Powell said he could not but that the matter would be further investigated.
"I think the French will have to explain what they did or did not do," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Tuesday.
Fox News' Tom Sanction and The Associated Press contributed to this report.