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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 December, 2003, 18:49 GMT
Bush's statement in full
President George W Bush
President Bush said Iraqis need never fear Saddam again
The following is the full text of US President George W Bush's televised White House statement on the capture of the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Good afternoon. Yesterday, 13 December, at around 2030 Baghdad time (1730 GMT) United States military forces captured Saddam Hussein alive.

He was found near a farmhouse outside the city of Tikrit in a swift raid conducted without casualties and now the former dictator of Iraq will face the justice he denied to millions.

The capture of this man was crucial to the rise of a free Iraq.

It marks the end of the road for him and all who bullied and killed in his name.

'No return'

For the Baathist hold-outs largely responsible for the current violence, there will be no return to the corrupt power and privilege they once held.

For the vast majority of citizens who wish to live as free men and women, this event brings further assurance that the torture chambers and the secret police are gone forever.

And this afternoon, I have a message for the Iraqi people: You will not have to fear the rule of Saddam Hussein ever again.

All Iraqis can now come together and build a new Iraq
President Bush
All Iraqis who take the side of freedom have taken the winning side.

The goals of the coalition are the same as your goals. Sovereignty for your country, dignity for your great culture and, for every Iraqi citizen, the opportunity for a better life.

In the history of Iraq a dark and painful era is over. A hopeful day has arrived.

All Iraqis can now come together and reject violence and build a new Iraq.

Military praise

The success of yesterday's mission is a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq.

The operation was based on the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator's footprints in a vast country.

The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force.

I have a message for all Americans - the capture of Saddam Hussein does not mean the end of violence in Iraq
President Bush
Our servicemen and women, our coalition allies, have faced many dangers in the hunt for members of the former regime, and in their effort to bring hope and freedom to the Iraqi people.

Their work continues. And so do the risks.

Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our armed forces and I congratulate them.

I also have a message for all Americans. The capture of Saddam Hussein does not mean the end of violence in Iraq.

We still face terrorists who would rather go on killing the innocent than accept the rise of liberty in the heart of the Middle East.

Car bomb aftermath in Khalidiyah, 35 miles (60 km) west of Baghdad
Attacks continue in Iraq, with a car bomb blast on Sunday morning
Such men are a direct threat to the American people and they will be defeated.

We have come to this moment through patience and resolve and focused action and that is our strategy moving forward.

The war on terror is a different kind of war, waged capture by capture, cell by cell and victory by victory.

Our security is assured by our perseverance and by our sure belief in the success of liberty and the United States of America will not relent until this war is won.

May God bless the people of Iraq and may God Bless America.

US President Gerorge W Bush
"The capture of this man was crucial to the rise of a free Iraq"

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