US to return Saddam's rifle to Iraq

US Federal customs agents said a pearl-handled AK-47 that belonged to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and was in the hands of the US Army is being sent back to Iraq.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the automatic rifle is chrome-plated and has a photo of Saddam near the sight.

ICE spokesman Lou Martinez said the return of the rifle was recently requested by the Iraqi government and ICE traced it to Fort Lewis in Washington.

Peter J. Smith, special agent in charge of the ICE office of investigations in New York, called the AK-47 “a priceless symbol of Iraqi history”.

Mr Martinez said the US Army, which had planned to put the weapon in a museum, cooperated fully with its return.


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