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Iraq

Saddam Hussein 'executed in Iraq'
by BBC (reposted)
Friday Dec 29th, 2006 7:25 PM
Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has been executed by hanging at an unspecified location, reports say.
Iraqi TV said the execution took place just before 0600 local time (0300GMT). It was witnessed by a doctor, lawyer and officials. It was also filmed.

US troops and Iraqi security forces are on high alert for any violent backlash.

Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by an Iraqi court on 5 November after a year-long trial over the 1982 killings of 148 Shias in the town Dujail.

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6218485.stm
by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Friday Dec 29th, 2006 8:07 PM
Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president, has been hanged, according to a television station in the region.

Reports on Al Hurra, a US-backed station, said that Saddam was executed shortly before 6am (03:00 GMT) on Saturday.

The former Iraqi president, who was ousted in April 2003 by a US-led invasion, was convicted last month of crimes against humanity over the killings of 148 Shia villagers from Dujail after a failed assassination attempt in 1982.

An appeals court upheld the death penalty on Tuesday and the Iraqi government rushed through the procedures to hang him by the end of the year and before the Eid al-Adha holiday that starts on Saturday.

The government had kept details of its plans shrouded in secrecy amid concerns that it may provoke a violent backlash from his former supporters with Iraq on the brink of civil war.

Saddam's conviction on November 5 was hailed by George Bush, the US president, as a triumph for the democracy he promised to foster in Iraq after the invasion almost four years ago.
With U.S. public support for the war falling as the number of American dead approaches 3,000, Washington is likely to welcome the death of Saddam, despite misgivings among many allies about capital punishment.
But the hanging could complicate efforts by Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, to heal Iraq's sectarian divisions as violence between Shia and Sunni Muslims grows and threatens to pitch the country into full-scale civil war.

Oppression

During his three decades in power, Saddam was accused of widespread oppression of political opponents and genocide against Kurds in northern Iraq. His execution means that he will never face justice on those charges.

Saddam insisted during his trial that he was still the president of Iraq. He said in a letter written after his conviction that he offered himself as a "sacrifice".

"If my soul goes down this path [of martyrdom] it will face God in serenity," he wrote in the letter.

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/0E2C08A9-6269-4E5B-B694-C4388958DE07.htm