BAGHDAD, Iraq - Saddam Hussein's rule over the capital has ended, U.S. commanders declared Wednesday, and jubilant crowds swarmed into the streets here, dancing, looting and defacing images of the Iraqi leader. A Marine tank toppled a giant statue of Saddam in a sweeping, symbolic gesture.
In the most visible sign of Saddam's evaporating power, the 40-foot statue of the Iraqi president was brought down in the middle of Firdos Square. Cheering Iraqis, some waving the national flag, scaled the statue and danced upon the downed icon, now lying face down. As it fell, some threw shoes and slippers at the statue - a gross insult in the Arab world.
The scene was telecast worldwide by CNN and others.
"I'm 49, but I never lived a single day," said Yusuf Abed Kazim, a Baghdad imam who pounded the statue's pedestal with a sledgehammer. "Only now will I start living. That Saddam Hussein is a murderer and...