BAGHDAD, Iraq – Journalists saw the bodies of Saddam Hussein's (search) sons Uday and Qusay (search) first-hand Friday, as part of the U.S. military's effort to diminish doubts many Iraqis still have about whether the two men really are dead.
Around 9:30 a.m. EST, the U.S. military released gruesome video of the bodies and the journalists viewing them. The bodies appear badly bruised and bloodied, but the faces have been cleaned up. The video includes full-body shots of the two men.
The two men were killed in a firefight with the U.S. military in Mosul (search) Tuesday in a house where the two men were hiding out.
The bodies were prepared for funeral viewing by U.S. military morticians, who partially restored the faces to the way they looked before Uday and Qusay were killed.
The video shows Uday's beard trimmed to the length he had worn it in life. Qusay's beard has been shaved off, and he has only a moustache -- his trademark.
Morticians have removed a large gash that had cut across the middle of Uday's face. His abdomen appears riddled with bullets, and a large X-shaped incision criss-crosses his chest.
"I've been shown the bodies and they do appear to be those of Uday and Qusay," Reuters correspondent Andrew Marshall said from the makeshift U.S. military morgue at Baghdad International Airport (search).
Pathologists who examined the bodies said each sustained more than 20 bullet wounds.
Fox News has learned that dental records and the X-rays of Uday's leg will soon be released.
U.S. authorities said they had sent tissue samples from both bodies to a military lab in Washington for DNA testing. Both brothers had multiple scrapes, abrasions and burns.
Uday was believed to have died from a blow to the head. Qusay had two bullet wounds in his head, in and just behind his right ear, doctors and medical officials said, adding the wounds did not appear to be self-inflicted.
Surgeons showed reporters a metal rod they removed from one of Uday's legs, inserted during reconstructive surgery after a 1996 assassination attempt. They said the serial and model number on the eight-inch rod matched data they had about it.
Friday's video showed autopsy incisions visible on Uday's left leg. A piece of leg bone taken out with the bar was wrapped in plastic and lying next to his body.
Autopsies showed both brothers were in good health. Authorities were awaiting toxicology reports to see if the brothers took any prescription medications or drugs.
Defense officials say the cosmetic work on Uday and Qusay's faces was done not to deceive anyone, but to make sure the bodies looked as much as possible as they did before Saddam's sons went into hiding and altered their appearances.
Some of the facial wounds were bloody and disfiguring.
Rocco Paccione, a funeral services director, said fixing up the faces was necessary to convince Iraqis the men are dead.
"You must remember that the general population of the area is accustomed to seeing them as they were," Paccione told Fox News. "What the embalmers and the military has done is to try to create the appearance that they had prior to death to convince the people in the area that's who this really is."
Forensic pathologist Michael Baden told Fox News that some Iraqis still may need more proof.
"Those video photos don't distinguish between a body double and someone made to look like one of the two brothers," Baden said. "I think they should put out the thumbprints -- thumbprints are very persuasive, graphically. The DNA's also going to be valuable."
Baden said the "most important" thing that should happen is for Arabic satellite television station Al Jazeera, as well as clerics and mullahs in Iraq, to spread the word that the bodies they saw were in fact those of Uday and Qusay.
"If they say they're the two brothers, people will believe them," Baden said.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan was asked by reporters Friday about the difference between the United States releasing images of Uday and Qusay and Iraq releasing photos of dead American soldiers during the war -- a move that outraged the administration and many in the American public.
There is a big difference, McClellan said, since the Iraqi people lived 30 years under Saddam and his sons' brutal oppressive regime and it's important the people have assurances that the regime is gone and will not be coming back. That's different from using photos of dead Americans for propaganda purposes, he said.
Uday, 39, and Qusay, 37, were killed in a gunbattle with U.S. forces after an Iraqi informant tipped the Americans to their presence.
The U.S. military think the brothers and a third man, likely a bodyguard, were killed by TOW missiles fired into the villa.
A fourth person in the house, believed to be Qusay's teenage son Mustafa, was shot to death after he continued shooting at troops as they stormed the house.
An Iraqi tipster led the United States to the brothers, weeks after the U.S. military offered a $15 million reward for information leading to the capture or death of either.
The Coalition Provisional Authority was in talks with the Governing Council about how to preserve the bodies according to Islamic custom, which calls for burial as soon as possible. Usually, Muslims are buried before nightfall the day they die.
U.S. officials said the bodies would be stored at the airport until a family member came forward to claim them.
A final report on their deaths was expected within four to six weeks.
Paul Bremer, the top civilian administrator of Iraq, said in a television interview Friday that the brothers' deaths may help American forces capture their father.
"I think the noose is certainly tightening," Bremer said. "His support circle has to be getting tighter around him."
On Thursday, Iraqis debated the legitimacy of grisly still photographs of Uday and Qusay.
The photos were widely viewed on television around the world but some Iraqis complained the photographs did not show the sons' full bodies.
Most newspapers in the capital, Baghdad, did not publish Friday, the traditional day of prayer and rest in the Islamic world. Al Ray Al-Am did run a story about the pictures, but did not show them, opting instead to show an older color photo of Uday, the eldest son, wearing an Arab headdress, his faced crossed out with a red "X."
Both men were bruised, bloodied and heavily bearded, which left some Iraqis speculating that they may have been trying to mask their identities. They had been on the run since the regime collapsed April 9.
Fox News' Bret Baier and The Associated Press contributed to this report.