BAGHDAD, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- An Iraqi journalist threw two shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush Sunday during a news conference in the Iraqi prime minister's office in Baghdad.
The man who threw the shoes shouted an Arabic phrase, which reportedly translated as, "This is a farewell kiss, dog," The New York Times reported.
Bush ducked and narrowly missed being struck by the first shoe. After the second shoe also came close to hitting the president, security officer swarmed the man and carried him out of the room.
The man was identified as Al Baghdadia Television reporter Muntadar al-Zaidi, who was in the second row of the press gallery, about 12 feet away from Bush, when he threw the shoes -- a gesture that is considered a serious insult in Iraq.
"All I can report is it is a size 10," Bush said jokingly.
Bush unexpectedly flew to Iraq Sunday to pay a farewell visit and discuss a recently signed security agreement.
He said the war in Iraq had "not been easy" but defended it as necessary for U.S. security, Iraqi stability and "world peace," The Washington Post said.
White House officials said Air Force One arrived in Baghdad at 4 p.m. local time, where Bush was met by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. forces in the country, the Times said.
After he left Iraq, Bush went to Afghanistan for a rally with U.S. and other troops, the newspaper said.
The Iraq trip is Bush's fourth, and likely final, visit to the country that will define much of his legacy as president. His preparations for the visit were cloaked in secrecy, the newspaper said, with Bush leaving the White House by car late Saturday and arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., to begin a 10-hour overnight flight.