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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 May, 2004, 20:24 GMT 21:24 UK
Bush has Saddam gun as souvenir
Saddam Hussein after capture by US forces
Saddam Hussein offered no resistance when captured
A gun that Saddam Hussein was holding when US forces caught him is now kept by President Bush at the White House.

The handgun was presented to the US president by soldiers involved in the capture of the former Iraqi leader.

Mr Bush keeps it in a small study adjoining the Oval Office used for displaying memorabilia, and is said to show it to select visitors.

Saddam Hussein was captured near his home town of Tikrit in a tiny underground hiding place last December.

He had spent seven months on the run following the toppling of his government by US-led forces.

The story of the gun was first reported by Time magazine, which quoted the president as telling visitors that the weapon was unloaded at the time of Saddam Hussein's arrest - despite some media reports to the contrary.

"He really liked showing it off," Time quoted an unidentified visitor as saying. "He was really proud of it."

White House spokesman Jim Morrell said: "The president was proud of the performance and bravery of our armed forces and was honoured to receive it on behalf of the troops involved in the operation."




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