Friday, Dec 29, 2006, 8:13 pm
Saddam Has Been Executed
Mariam Karouny for AP reports:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) -
Saddam Hussein was executed by hanging shortly before 6 a.m. (10:00 p.m. EST) on Saturday, U.S.-backed Iraqi television station Al Hurra and Arabic satellite channel Arabiya said.
An appeals court upheld the death penalty on Tuesday and the 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, coinciding with the haj pilgrimage to Mecca.
The Iraqi government had kept details of its plans shrouded in secrecy amid concerns it could spark a violent backlash from his former supporters with Iraq on the brink of civil war.
The execution will delight Iraq's majority Shi'ites, who faced oppression during Saddam's three-decade rule, but may anger some in his resentful Sunni minority.
Some Kurdish leaders had sought a delay so they too could see justice for the man they accuse of genocide against them.