Lieutenant Colonel William MacDonald, spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division in Saddam's hometown of Tikrit, said the two women, along with a son of Ibrahim's doctor, were caught during a raid on Tuesday morning. 

"Task Force Ironhorse soldiers received information indicating that the wife and supporters of Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri were hiding in Samarra," said MacDonald.

MacDonald said there was no indication the former Iraqi general was in the area at the time. Last week, US forces put a bounty of $10 million on the head of al-Duri as they stepped up the hunt for a man seen as one of Saddam's closest henchmen. 

MacDonald did not have any information about the age or name of the wife.

"They are being detained and held for questioning," MacDonald said, referring to the three captured Iraqis.  MacDonald did not have any information about the age or name of the wife.

Number six

Ibrahim was one of Saddam's top lieutenants before the war and number six on the US military's 55-strong most-wanted
list. 

Duri, now 61, was the prime mover behind the ousted regime's
adoption of Islamist rhetoric through the 1990s and stands accused by the coalition of playing a leading role in the resistance attacks on its troops.

Two weeks ago, US fighter jets dropped bombs on one of Ibrahim's houses near Tikrit, destroying it.