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Iraq demands return of Saddam Hussein's arse

Ex-SAS bloke in bronze rump rumpus

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The Iraqi government is demanding the return of a piece of Saddam Hussein's tyrannical arse "liberated" by a former SAS soldier during the fall of the dictator's regime in 2003.

Nigel "Spud" Ely was acting as bodyguard for a TV news crew during the coalition's overthrow of Hussein. Arriving in Baghdad shortly after jubilant locals had toppled the ex-president's statue in the city's Firdos Square, he helped himself to a 2ft portion of the effigy's bronze backside.

Ely, 52, smuggled his booty out of Iraq, claiming it was a piece of armoured vehicle. He later offered it for auction as piece of "war relic art", in benefit of injured ex-servicemen and women, but it failed to sell.

The Iraqis have now decided they want the "cultural antiquity" back. Following a complaint by the country's UK embassy, Ely was questioned under caution by cops, who confirmed they're probing the matter because "ownership of the chunk of bronze is in dispute", as the Sun puts it.

Ely protested: "When I got it, it was just a piece of scrap metal. I am only doing this to raise money for military charities. If the Iraqis want to split the proceeds to give some to Iraqi charities, I am happy to listen." ®

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