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Saddam Hussein Captured

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Iraq after the War
The Common People of Iraq
The Persian Gulf War
Saddam Hussein

After months of a sometimes frantic search, U.S. officials announced on December 14 that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had been captured—alive.

He was found in a dirt cellar under a farmhouse in a town called Adwar, near Tikrit, his hometown. He had a full beard and looked pale and hungry.

The cellar itself was not much larger than a person, and bricks and dirt hid the entrance so that it looked like part of a wall. The cellar was part of a larger underground chamber that contained a room and a tunnel to the surface. A pipe in that tunnel brought air down into the chamber.

Two other men were captured with Hussein, 66. Their names have not been released yet. Also found were many guns and a pile of money totaling $750,000.

Hussein had been a wanted figure since the war began. The U.S. had offered $25 million to anyone who could guarantee Hussein's capture.

The U.S. and its allies had invaded Iraq in March. Many reasons for the invasion have been put forth. One of them was that Iraq was stockpiling weapons that could hurt lots of people, so-called "weapons of mass destruction." Any significant weapons of this kind have yet to be found. Another reason for the invasion was to save the Iraqi people from further violence at the hands of Hussein, who is known to have ordered killed thousands of his own people in the more than 20 years he was in power.

The war didn't last long, and the Iraqis are no longer in control of their country. Officials and soldiers from the U.S., Great Britain, Japan, Australia, and other countries are trying to keep Iraq safe so it can be rebuilt as a safer nation. One of the main reasons for the continued threats to safety has been the increasingly violent tactics of small groups of Iraqis who are thought to be loyal to Hussein. In fact, more American soldiers have died since the war "ended" in May than during the "official conflict."

Officials of the occupying countries hope that Hussein's capture will put a stop to many of these attacks.

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