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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 April, 2003, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Arab TV captures 'moment of history'

Iraqi citizens using hammer to bring down Saddam statue as broadcast on Al-Jazeera
Baghdad people power live on TV

Pan-Arab TV channels carried live footage of the prolonged attempts by Iraqi civilians to topple the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad's al-Fardus Square. Commentators were united in saying that the event was history in the making.

By contrast, several state-run TV channels in the Arab world - including in Syria, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia - did not broadcast it live.

Excerpts from how some commentators saw it:


This is a moment of history. Baghdad people must be feeling sad at witnessing the fall of their capital... Baghdad has been offered on a silver plate.

Abu Dhabi TV


This scene suggests something which does not leave any room for doubt, namely that the rule of the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, has now collapsed in Baghdad ... This is a banner saying 'Go home'. Despite their obvious welcome of the US troops, they, as Iraqi people, are demanding the departure of these troops, maybe after a short period ...

Al-Jazeera shows soldier placing US flag over Saddam statue
'This history will have an American flavour'

A surreal scene ... Baghdad is now preparing itself for a new history, a new day. This history will have, as we said, an American flavour, an American taste, and an American smell, and who knows maybe many people want the new history to have an American flavour, an American taste and an American smell. This does not mean it is good or bad. All we want to say is that we are witnessing a change and that many want a change. We are seeing this change minute after minute.

Al Jazeera - Qatar


This is the scene the US TV networks have been waiting for... Now we will know whether the US was really after freeing the people of Iraq or after the Iraqi territories.

Al Arabiya TV - UAE


It looks to me as if the people want to execute criminal Saddam... This shows that claim that people had loved Saddam and that everyone voted for him in the last elections was a big lie.

Kuwaiti TV


... A great American plan for the region, for the world and for Iraq because the latter is the weakest link. What Al-Alam's camera is showing us now is the best proof that the Iraqi citizens, as soon as they felt that there was no longer an Iraqi government, took to the streets to try to pull down the statue of the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Al Alam TV - Iran


The US forces, the US tanks, are still surrounding the Palestine Meridian and the Ashtart Sheraton Hotels... Some citizens who live near the hotel have begun to appear in the streets and head to this statue in front of the hotel. It is a statue of Saddam Hussein. It seems that they have began to shout slogans against Saddam Hussein and to express their happiness at what is happening. The people here who are gathering in the square opposite the hotel have tried to destroy this statue, but they failed."

Pro-Hezbollah Al-Manar TV


BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




SEE ALSO:
Saddam speech: Call for 'martyrdom'
05 Apr 03  |  Middle East
Mid-East press on Baghdad battle
06 Apr 03  |  Middle East
Saddam urges 'jihad': Text
01 Apr 03  |  Middle East



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