- The Washington Times - Friday, April 10, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Federal customs agents say a pearl-handled AK-47 that belonged to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and was in the hands of the U.S. Army is being sent back to Iraq.

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

ICE spokesman Lou Martinez says the return of the rifle was recently requested by the Iraqi government and ICE traced it to Fort Lewis in Washington. He said the rifle will be kept in ICE custody until arrangements are made to send it to Iraq.

Martinez said he did not know how the Army obtained the weapon, but that it was brought to the United States legally and through official Army channels. A spokesman at Fort Lewis said he could not determine the circumstances of its recovery.

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