George Bush, the US president, has had a pair of shoes hurled at him at a press conference during his last surprise visit to Iraq before leaving office in January.
An Iraqi reporter called Bush "a dog" and shouted out "this is the end" at Sunday's news conference in Baghdad, before throwing his shoes at the US leader.
Bush, who had been giving a joint press statement with Nuri Al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, ducked behind a podium as the shoes narrowly missed his head.
He was reported to be unhurt after the attack by Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadiya television, the Associated Press news agency reported.
The outgoing US leader had just told reporters that while the war in Iraq was not over "it is decisively on its way to being won," when al-Zeidi got to his feet and hurled abuse - and his footwear - at the US president.
Sign of contempt
In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt.
The incident will serve as a vivid reminder of the widespread opposition to the US-led invasion of, and subsequent war in, Iraq - the conflict which has come to define Bush's presidency.
Bush shrugged off the incident and quipped: "All I can report is that it's a size 10."
Adil Shamoo, an Iraqi analyst at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC, told Al Jazeera: "I think we should go beyond the shoe and think about the fact that the US should respect Iraq's sovereignty in order to regain respect of the Iraqi people and the Arab world.
"I think Bush has increased terrorism against the United States and instablity in the Middle East because of his policies."
The US president was in Baghad for unannounced talks on the pact between Iraq and Washington that will see American troops leave Iraq by 2011.
Al-Maliki applauded security gains in Iraq and said that two years ago "such an agreement seemed impossible".
Bush's visit to the Iraqi capital came just 37 days before he hands the presidency over to Barak Obama, who has vowed to withdraw troops from Iraq. [Aljazeera.net]