Iraqi Peasant Gets $20,000 for Shooting Down US Helicopter

"The Iraqi Rambo with a bolt-action rifle - Iraq's secret weapon." This popular Kuwaiti joke is about peasant Ali Abed ben Mingash who suddenly became world-famous having shot down a US Apache helicopter with his outdated rifle. The Iraqi television showed the happy fellah from the city of Karbala dancing around the sinister war machine. The images were quite popular with all the electronic media amid other developments in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Ali Abed received the 50 million dinar /$20,000 at pre-war rate/ reward promised by the Iraqi president for bringing down the helicopter.

The story had a continuation. The 60-year old Rambo from the country-side decided to make use of this huge sum in his own way. He married a young girl.

Meanwhile, the glory of the "aerial sniper" reached other Arab countries. According to reports from Abu Dhabi, Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi presented the Iraqi peasant with a Medal of Honour, and a Mauritanian girl had her golden jewellery melted to make a gilded sabre for the hero.

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