B A G H D A D, Iraq, Dec. 13 —The U.S military has confirmed that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has been captured near his home town of Tikrit, reports ABC News.
Saddam, who ruled Iraq for 23 years until his ouster in April, has been a fugitive since then with a $25 million bounty on his head.
According to ABC News, U.S. administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, opened the press conference with the words, "Ladies and gentlemen, we got him."
"This is a great day in Iraq's history," Bremer said. "The tyrant is a prisoner."
Bremer said that Saddam was captured Saturday in a cellar in the town of Adwar, 10 miles from Tikrit.
According to Reuters, Iraqi journalist Fatah al-Sheikh wept when he saw U.S. video of Saddam Hussein at a news conference Sunday.
"When I saw Saddam's long beard, how he looked like a defeated man, it reminded me of the two years I spent in jail, how his agents tortured me in every way you could imagine," he
There has been no reaction yet to the capture from President Bush, who is at his Camp David retreat in Maryland today.
Bush first learned of the capture on Saturday afternoon, and was given confirmation early today by national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair welcomed Saddam's capture, states ABC News
The Middle Eastern source Albawada reports that celebratory gunfire broke out in Baghdad and other cities in Iraq. Radio stations played celebratory music and people drove through the streets of the capital, shouting, "They got Saddam! They got Saddam!"
"The American soldiers had to use shovels to dig him out," Entifadh Qanbar, spokesman for Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi, told The Associated Press.
"The medical examination showed he had no injuries and is in good health," added Sanchez. (Albawaba.com)