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 August 24, 2003
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Military topples Saddam statue; Iraqis unimpressed
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Tikrit, Iraq-AP -- The U-S military used 12 pounds of plastic explosives today -- to topple a 30-foot statue of Saddam Hussein in the former dictator's northern Iraqi hometown.

The solid bronze statue came down in a thunderous explosion. It featured Saddam on horseback, brandishing a sword. The soldier who pushed the button that brought the statue down says "it felt real good."

The statue stood near the main gate of a huge palace complex overlooking the city of Tikrit. The head of the statue was taken to an area Army headquarters as a trophy.

The rest of the bronze is to be shipped to Fort Hood in Texas, where it's to be melted down and turned into a memorial.

One Tikrit shopkeeper says the event means little to him. He says he's more interested in trying to pay his rent. Another resident says Saddam was "the symbol of Iraq" -- and the statue-toppling seemed like a challenge.

Yet another resident says the people are having a tough time getting used to Saddam's absence. He says Saddam used to be on T-V 24 hours a day.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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