12/30/2006, 00.00
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Saddam Hussein is hanged

The news was announced by Iraqi television that showed pictures of the execution a few hours later.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Saddam Hussein, the man who dominated Iraq with brutal violence for nearly 25 years, was executed before dawn this morning (at 6am local time). The 69-year-old leader, who was overthrown by a multi-national coalition led by the United States in 2003, was convicted of crimes against humanity.


Since the execution was announced by local television, there have no signs of violence in Baghdad. The government did not impose a curfew as it had done on 5 November, the day when one of the trials of the ex-dictator ended in a death sentence for the killing of 148 Shiites who were arrested in 1982 in connection with an assassination attempt against Saddam. The sentence was confirmed by an appeals court on 26 December and had to be executed within 30 days.

Saddam was also on trial for the killing of tens of thousands of Kurds in 1988 in the Anfal campaign.


Iraqi television initially said Saddam's half-brothers Barzan Ibrahim and Awad Hamed al-Bandar were hanged too. But National Security adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie, who attended the execution, later said the two men would be hanged after the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, which started today and ends in the first week of January.

A video and photo of the execution of Saddam were publicized a few hours later. According to the statements of those present – including some relatives of the former dictator -
Saddam Hussein was carrying a copy of the Quran which he asked to be given to a friend of his called Bander. He refused to cover his head with a hood. Saddam was executed in a military zone in the Shiite neighborhood of Kazimiyah.


Shiites in Najaf celebrated the ex-dictator’s death on the streets, gathering in jubiliant crowds and firing in the air. In Tikrit, the city the dictator came from, people were in mourning.


The response of Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki to international calls not to execute Saddam was that all those who opposed his sentence were insulting the memory of his victims.


A source of AsiaNews in Baghdad told AsiaNews that the death of Saddam Hussein would not influence the future of Iraq: “Saddam has been dead for some time, since he captured, and his presence no longer had any impact in Iraq. The conflicts raging in the country now are of an international nature and have nothing to do with Saddam Hussein.”


Many analysts said the death of Saddam could fuel the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites. In Kufa and Mosul, bombs and incidents were reported.

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See also
Saddam Hussein – Chronology
Law reintegrating low-level Baathists approved
Iraqi judge and son gunned down
Nassiriya, 21 death sentences on 'terrorism' charges
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