Saddam statue toppled in central Baghdad square
US marines sent a towering bronze statue of Saddam Hussein crashing to the ground amid loud cheers on a central Baghdad square on Wednesday.
After fruitless efforts by Iraqis, it took the marines and a tank recovery vehicle with a crane to secure a chain around the statue's neck to pull it over.
Dozens of Iraqis jumped on the figure shouting with joy.
The statue was demolished after US tanks rumbled on to al-Fardus (Paradise) square in the late afternoon and dozens of people quickly gathered to watch and warmly welcome the troops.
The crowd soon set about trying to destroy the monument in a symbolic gesture marking the collapse of Saddam's Baath Party regime.
Initially, the marines covered the statue's head with an American flag, but then took that flag down and replaced it with an Iraqi flag around its neck.