SLUG: 2-310827 Iraq Saddam (L)
INTRO: Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has been captured. V-O-A's Greg LaMotte reports the former Iraqi dictator was taken into custody, without incident late Saturday.
TEXT: /// OPEN ANNOUNCEMENT AND CHEERS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN . WE'VE GOT HIM!" ///
Cheers were heard in Iraq's convention center where the U-S administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, officially announced former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has been captured.
Members of the U-S Army 4th Infantry Division took the former Iraqi leader into custody late Saturday in the town of ad-Dawar, which is about 15-kilometers south of Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit.
U-S officials said Saddam was hiding in a three-meter deep dirt hole that had been dug in the basement of the house where he was captured. No shots were fired.
The U-S military showed video of a bearded Saddam shortly after his capture. Later, a photo was taken after he had been shaved.
Authorities said the former dictator was talkative and being cooperative. He was also described as a man who appeared to be tired and resigned to his fate. He was said to be in good health.
Seven-hundred-and-50--thousand dollars was found in his possession, along with a machine gun and a pistol.
The former Iraqi leader is being held in an undisclosed location. It is expected he will be tried in Iraqi courts for alleged war crimes.
Mr. Bremer said this was a great day in Iraq's history, adding that tyrant is now a prisoner. He said the days of suffering in Iraq are over.
/// BREMER ACT ///
For decades Saddam Hussein divided you citizens against each other. For decades he threatened and attacked your neighbors. Those days are over forever.
Several times during the news briefing members of the Iraqi media stood up and cheered, showing their appreciation for Saddam's capture, which came eight months after his regime was ousted by a U-S led invasion of Iraq. (SIGNED)
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