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Iraq Council Confirms Saddam Caught Alive

By HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. military captured Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) alive in his hometown of Tikrit on Sunday, eight months after the fall of Baghdad, the Iraqi Governing Council said. Celebratory gunfire erupted in Baghdad.

The statement said Saddam was captured in a joint operation by troops from the U.S.-led coalition and Kurdish Iraqi forces.

"He was wearing a fake beard and laboratory tests have proven his identity beyond any doubt," said the statement.

U.S. officials said only that the U.S. military captured a man in the basement of a building in Tikrit during raids seeking Saddam and that initial efforts to verify his identity indicate he is the deposed Iraqi dictator.

"It certainly looks good," one senior U.S. official said, cautioning more scientific testing, possibly DNA, was being done early Sunday morning to try to confirm the identity.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair (news - web sites) welcomed Saddam's capture.

"This is very good news for the people of Iraq (news - web sites). It removes the shadow that has been hanging over them for too long of the nightmare of a return to the Saddam regime," he said in a statement released by his office.

Saddam was trapped in a cellar, dug a hole and buried himself as U.S. soldiers moved into the house where he was hiding, an Iraqi official said Sunday.

"The American soldiers had to use shovels to dig him out," Entifadh Qanbar, spokesman for Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi, told The Associated Press.

Qanbar, basing his account on reports from members of the U.S.-led occupation authority, said Saddam had a salt-and-pepper beard when he was captured. Soldiers photographed him, shaved the beard and photographed him again before running DNA tests, he said.

"The DNA test confirmed 100 percent Saddam Hussein's identity," he said.

Qanbar said the capture took place "in a town very close to Tikrit," Saddam's hometown 100 miles north of Baghdad.
 

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Hopefully they keep turning over rocks and find Bin Laden next! Great news!!!!
 

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Good for our troops, good for the people of Iraq, good for America and good for President Bush.........................

Jerry in Minnesota.
 

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wonderful news to wake up to... spent a long night with friends and family at our yearly christmas party and woke up early to go shopping for my 3 yr old for christmas. made a fresh pot of coffee, searched my humi for a good smoke and turned on the news. i spent the next 10 min calling everyone at 5:30 in the morning to tell them the news. usually not a good idea for people with hangovers, but everyone was as excited as i was to hear the news and didnt mind.... god bless america and thank you mr bush!!
 

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I heard that the soldiers that actually got him smoked celebritory cigars after they got Saddam incarcerated.

Good for them!!!

Go USA!!!

Go ARMY!!!
(My nephew is still waiting to find out where he is going.)
 
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