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  US forces now in charge in Baghdad
Updated 09 April 2003, 21.31

Saddam Hussein's government has lost control over Iraq's capital city, Baghdad.

In amazing scenes, that would have never been seen while the old government still had control, a group of Iraqi people helped by an American tank pulled down a huge statue of Saddam Hussein in the city centre.

They then started jumping up and down on it shouting "Death to Saddam!".

Some people even rode around on statue head of Saddam Hussein
Some people even rode around on statue head of Saddam Hussein
At one point the head came off the statue and some Iraqis rode it around the public square while other pulled it with ropes.

That came after US tanks and armoured vehicles rolled into Baghdad, meeting virtually no resistance at all.

Later Iraqi people living in Baghdad started looting, taking things from buildings used by Saddam Hussein's government.

Historic and breathtaking moment

US president George Bush described the falling of the statue as an historic moment, while his Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld called it "breathtaking".

Iraqi people started taking things from government buildings
Iraqi people started taking things from government buildings
But President Bush warned that some parts of the city were still "very dangerous".

In the west of the capital US forces continued to meet opposition from Iraqi soldiers.

A US military spokesman said the end of the fighting in the country was now days away in Baghdad and the south of the country.

And the Iraqi officials who were keeping an eye on the journalists in the city until today, didn't show up at all.

The US government has no idea where Saddam Hussein has gone, or even if he survived the attacks from the coalition forces on Baghdad.

Water for Basra

Meanwhile, British forces are getting much-needed fresh water supplies to the people of Iraq's second city, Basra.

At the same time, the soldiers are trying to stop the local people from looting the shops there. No one is working in them now and many people are stealing the goods in them.

Other main points:

  • Britain and US say the United Nations will have a vital role in a post-war Iraq but France wants the UN to be in complete control
  • US say they are planning to double the size of the forces in Baghdad over the next 24 hours
  • Search is on for two US pilots missing after their F-15 aircraft went down over Iraq on Sunday

Watch Laura Jones' reportWatch Laura Jones' report
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More InfoBORDER=0
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Past StoriesBORDER=0
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Saddam's palace taken
US tanks storm into central Baghdad
Saddam's statue is toppled in historic moment



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