With the former Iraqi president nowhere in sight since the US seized control of the country, Washington now seems desperate to establish that Saddam Hussein was killed in the attack.
|US conducts desperate search for|
A mechanical digger, two earthmovers and a fleet of more than a dozen trucks were at work on Wednesday shifting rubble, which are all that remains of the bombed out building.
US forces dropped satellite-guided bombs on the building in the Mansoura locality on 7 April.
The excavation began late on Tuesday and was expected to last two weeks, even with the digging teams working round the clock.
"We're going 24 hours at it right now but we are limited by the number of trucks we have," the US military's site supervisor Captain Tim Payment said.
The troops had removed over 100 truckloads, but there was a long way to go. The occupying forces have brought in expert engineers and specialists from the explosive ordnance department. But the group actually sifting through the rubble was from the US Department of Defence.
The diggers have not found any remains at the site. The bomb site was originally an eight-metre-deep crater. But people had filled it out of fear for the safety of their children in the neighbourhood. Only a much smaller hole remained.
The search has started amid mounting criticism of the quality and handling of the US-led forces’ intelligence on Iraq.
This has been compounded by growing embarrassment at the failure to find either Saddam Hussein or his alleged weapons of mass destruction.
Last week, Washington admitted that an alleged secret bunker targeted in an earlier bomb attack against Saddam Hussein, did not exist.
Intensive searches were conducted of the Dora Farms complex in south Baghdad, hit with a massive bombing and cruise missile raid on the opening night of the war. But the searches failed to find even a body, let alone any underground facility.