Ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has been captured by US forces, says the US chief administrator in Iraq. "Ladies and gentlemen, we got him," Paul Bremer said at a news conference in the capital, Baghdad, prompting loud cheers from Iraqis in the audience.
The former leader was found hiding in a cellar in a town about 30 kilometres south of his ancestral hometown Tikrit.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has welcomed the news, saying it "removes the shadow" hanging over Iraq.
Saddam Hussein is the most wanted man on the list issued by US authorities but has not been seen since Baghdad fell to US forces in April.
Video footage apparently showing a dishevelled-looking Saddam in custody with a long black beard was shown at the press conference.
A spokeswoman for US-led coalition forces in Baghdad said that a "very important" announcement would be made at a news conference at 1200 GMT but would not give further details.
Iraqi Governing Council head Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim was quoted as saying that a DNA test had proved the man in custody was Saddam Hussein.
People have started celebrating the possible capture of their former president in the streets of Baghdad and the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk by honking their horns and firing into the air.
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Originally posted by Big Booger
By the way, who gets the reward? $25 million US or at least I think that is what it is????
Since the Army captured him, I doubt anyone will get it.
I obviously can't convey the emotions that this capture brings out for me, but I think that it can be nothing but good. It probably won't put an end to the conflicts within that country but it may help to make it a little safer for both the Iraqi people as well as our own troops and civilians working there.
This is wonderful news. Congratulations to the Iraqi people and the Men and Women of the Military that have worked hard towards this end.
Just got back from a long weekend of fun in the sun...kicking back on the beach, away from TV and radio (and OMG! the Internet) so I still cant believe they found Saddam!!!!
He's looking a bit weary but I think most people will be relieved that he no longer lurking in the shadows. I hope this brings an end to the remaining followers of Saddam and a better Iraq.
Because its their jobOriginally posted by Big Booger
Why don't they give it to the battalion that captured him?
I'd say no one would be given the reward as the Army's intel probably came from within the ranks anyhow.
Why part with $25 Million US if you don't have to?
Hiding in a cellar? In my local newspaper it said that he was found in a single-man sized 2m deep pit which is just enough for one man to lie down in covered by a "spider" trapdoor camoflauged to look like the surroundings. Never said anything about a cellar only a little pit.Originally posted by Reverend
The former leader was found hiding in a cellar
"Never seem more learnt then the people you are with. Wear your learning like a watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked."
SMH has a great diagram of what the "celler/hole/bunker/hiding spot" looks like:
Amazing.. and it was said it is a common knowledge hangout for the Saddam Regime...
And for an actual image of the entrance:
tight squeeze, insures you'll stay trim