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Saddam regime is gone: Bush

President George W Bush, in remarks televised throughout Iraq, said the regime of Saddam Hussein was being removed from power.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2003 19:15 IST

President George W Bush, in remarks televised throughout Iraq, told citizens of the war-torn nation on Thursday: "The regime of Saddam Hussein is being removed from power."

The two-and-a-half minute address, taped on Tuesday while Bush was meeting Northern Ireland with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, was being broadcast by the US military as part of a White House campaign to convince Iraqis and the rest of the Arab world that US troops are not a hostile invasion force.

There is still widespread opposition to the war through out much of the world.

"The long era of fear and cruelty is ending," Bush said, according to excerpts released by the White House. "The government of Iraq and the future of your country will soon belong to you."

Bush's remarks came a day after Baghdad fell into coalition hands and much of Iraq was being overtaken by British and United States forces.

In his address to be telecasted soon, the British Prime Minister Tony Blair says Saddam Hussein's grip on Iraq is "collapsing" and his regime coming to an end.

"I am glad to be able to speak to you today, and to tell you that Saddam Hussein's regime is collapsing; that the years of brutality, oppression and fear are coming to an end; that a new and better future beckons for the people of Iraq," Blair said.

The message, and a similar one by US President George W Bush, was to be aired tonight on 'Towards Freedom TV', broadcasting from a specially-equipped US C-130 Hercules aircraft circling over Iraq.

The station, set up by coalition forces, was to use the same frequency as Iraqi state television, a Downing Street spokesman said.
Blair and Bush recorded their contributions -- subtitled in Arabic script -- during their summit at Hillsborough Castle, near Belfast, on Monday and Tuesday, the spokesman said.

"Our aim is to help alleviate immediate humanitarian suffering, and to move as soon as possible to an interim authority run by Iraqis," Blair said.

"This will pave the way for a truly representative Iraqi government, which represents human rights and the rule of law and spends Iraq's wealth not on palaces and WMD (weapons of mass destruction), but on you and the services you need," he said.

"Saddam Hussein and his regime plundered your nation's wealth. While many of you live in poverty, they have lived lives of luxury. He became one of the richest men in the world; his money stolen from you, the Iraqi people.

First Published: Apr 10, 2003 19:04 IST