Blair confirms, welcomes Saddam's arrest

British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Sunday confirmed that Iraqi former President Saddam Hussein hadbeen arrested alive in Iraq, claiming that this was "very good news" for the Iraqis.

"I very much welcome the capture last night of Saddam Hussein...This is very good news for the people of Iraq. It removes the shadow that has been hanging over them for too long of the nightmare of a return to the Saddam regime, " Blair said in a statement.

"This fear is now removed...It also gives an opportunity for Saddam to be tried in Iraqi courts for his crimes against the Iraqi people...We should try now to unite the whole of Iraq in rebuilding the country and offering it a new future," said Blair, the staunchest US ally who sent about 45,000 British troops to join the US-led war against Iraq.

Earlier reports said Saddam was captured in his home town of Tikrit in northern Iraq. The news of his capture comes as violencecontinued in Iraq, with at least 17 people killed and 30 wounded after a powerful car bomb exploded at an Iraqi police station westof Baghdad.

People's Daily Online ---