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Published on Jun 3, 2010
A towering statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled to the ground on Wednesday (April 9) in a symbolic act against the dictator's oppressive regime. Working together in the heart of Baghdad, US marines helped crowds of Iraqi men bring down the imposing monument on the day the city's population celebrated its liberation. The scenes were reminiscent of the fall of the Berlin Wall, brought down by citizens of another oppressed city, Using the A-frame of a tank recovery vehicle, the marines scaled the statue and secured chains around the figure alongside a noose which the Iraqis had already put there. As the vehicle's winch was tightened, the monument jerked then slowly fell forward, hanging precariously from the plinth - before crashing to the ground. Hundreds of civilians gathered around cheering, running over and swamping the huge statue as it lay in the central Shahid Square . The event took place just hours after US Marines swept into the eastern area of central Baghdad. At one point, a marine draped the face of Saddam with an American Stars and Stripes flag, but it was quickly removed. Scores of men pulled off their shoes, using them to beat the fallen statue - one of the biggest insults in the Arab world. Raising their hands in delight, men scrambled to join those dancing and jumping up and down on the enormous figure. The statue fell at 3.48pm BST. Earlier in the day, civilians threw stones at the bronze monument and used a sledge hammer to attack the plinth. One of the first to attack the stone pedestal, a large man wearing a grey vest which showed his strong arms, swung the hammer with as much force as he could, drawing cheers and applause from the crowd. While the hammer was passed round from man to man, chanting bystanders clapped in time to the blows, and chunks of stone broke away. The civilians, mostly young men, found a rope and tied it into a noose, before climbing up on a ladder and threading it round the Saddam statue's neck.