Iraqi peasant Abu Abid bin Mingash who downed a US AH-64 Apache attack helicopter from his ancient rifle, and who gained world fame overnight, doesn't consider himself very lucky nowadays.
The Al-Bayan newspaper, which comes out in the United Arab Emirates, reported April 16 that Abu Abid's house was burglarised. The robbers beat up Abu Abid, stealing his money and valuable gifts (that he received for his heroic exploit), as well as that famous rifle. Moreover, they even took away the unfortunate man's old furniture.
Ali Abid is now staying in a Kerbela hospital, the newspaper writes. He retains nothing but memories of his short glory alone.
Iraqi television showed Ali Abid dancing happily in front of that downed helicopter. This became the hit of the day for all TV channels against the background of dramatic events in Iraq.
The Americans claimed that the chopper had made a forced landing on Abu Abid's plantation, after its engine developed a malfunction, also saying that the AH-64 was destroyed from the air that same day.
People in Kuwait called Ali Abid an Iraqi Rambo with a hunting gun. The man received 50 million dinars (about $20,000 before the war) for his feat. Such bonuses were promised by Saddam Hussein himself.
Ali Abid, 60, who became quite popular with ladies, then married a young girl.
His fame spread like wildfire in other Arab countries, as well. Libyan leader Muammar Kaddafi awarded him the order of courage, with one Mauritanian girl even used her gold jewelry to make a gilded sword for Ali Abid.
However, Ali Abid became the hero of jokes and cartoons in Kuwait. For example, one such joke said that the United States was hastily withdrawing all its warships from the Persian Gulf because satellite photos showed the famed marksman aiming in the direction of the Gulf.