Saddam Hussein in U.S. hands; reportedly in good health, '\'cooperative'\'
Saddam Hussein, wearing a fake beard and burying himself in a cellar to hide from U.S. troops, was caught alive near his hometown of Tikrit.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we got him," U.S. top administrator L. Paul Bremer told a news conference Sunday. "The tyrant is a prisoner," Bremer added.
Bremer said that Saddam was captured Saturday at 8:30 p.m. (local time) in a cellar in the town of Adwar, some 10 miles from Tikrit.
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!"
Forces from the 4th Infantry Division along with Special Forces captured Saddam, the U.S. military said. There were no shots fired or injuries in the raid, called "Operation Red Dawn," said Lt. Gen. Richardo Sanchez.
Trapped in the cellar, Saddam 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.
Saddam Hussein is being "cooperative and talkative", Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq told the news conference in Baghdad.
"Saddam Hussein the captive is talkative and being cooperative," he said.
"The medical examination showed he had no injuries and is in good health," added Sanchez. (Albawaba.com)