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Unofficial Video Of Saddam Hanging

Officials taunted Saddam on the gallows

After he falls through the trap, abruptly cut off in his recitation of the Muslim profession of faith, someone in the room cries "The tyrant has fallen!" and the film shows the 69-year-old former strongman swinging on the rope, his eyes open and his neck twisted at a 90-degree angle to his right.

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12/30/06 Runtime 3 Minutes

 

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Officials taunted Saddam on the gallows

By Ghazwan al-Jibouri in Awja, Iraq

12/31/06 News.Com" -- -- S
ADDAM Hussein has been buried in the dead of night in his native village, prompting an outpouring of grief and anger from fellow Sunni Arabs, as shocking new footage of his hanging emerged.

Saddam's body was flown by US military helicopter to his home city of Tikrit in northern Iraq and, as agreed with US and Iraqi officials, buried in haste at nearby Awja in a 3am ceremony.

But even as he was laid to rest, new video footage of his hanging emerged, showing his body swinging from the gallows and Shiite officials taunting him to the very end.

Sectarian passions that have pushed Iraq toward civil war since US troops overthrew Saddam in 2003 could be further inflamed by the film.

"Go to hell!" one official yelled at the former president.

The jerky footage, apparently shot on a mobile phone by a guard or one of about 20 official observers at the dawn hanging, showed people in the execution chamber chanting the name of Shiite cleric and militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr and Saddam smiling back, saying: "Is this what you call manhood?"

After he falls through the trap, abruptly cut off in his recitation of the Muslim profession of faith, someone in the room cries "The tyrant has fallen!" and the film shows the 69-year-old former strongman swinging on the rope, his eyes open and his neck twisted at a 90-degree angle to his right.

Seemingly accusing his captors of mis-rule, he had earlier replied to the taunt of "Go to hell" by asking: "The hell that is Iraq?"

In Awja, where Saddam was born in fatherless poverty in 1937, hundreds of mourners flocked to his freshly dug tomb inside a marble-floored hall built by Saddam. Many others attended a ceremony in the Great Saddam Mosque in Tikrit.

Many poured out their anger against the Americans and the Shiite majority now in the ascendancy in Iraq's government.

"The Persians have killed him. I can't believe it. By God, we will take revenge," said one man from Mosul, referring to Iraq's new leaders ties to Persian-speaking, Shiite Iran.

In other Sunni towns and districts, including the insurgent bastion of Amriya in Baghdad and Baiji and Dhuluiya near Tikrit, local people held funeral observances, including symbolic coffins, to show their respect for a leader who ensured Sunnis enjoyed state favour during his three decades in power.

State television showed the head of Saddam's tribe, Ali al- Nida of the Albu Nasir, and Tikrit's regional governor signing a letter agreeing to bury the body immediately in Awja.

It also showed the shrouded body being checked and the coffin closed before it was loaded on to the back of a pick-up truck and driven to a waiting helicopter.

Governor Mohammed al-Qaisi said the body was bathed and dressed according to Muslim ritual, and the funeral was attended by a few officials and relatives.

It lasted 25 minutes as US and Iraqi troops kept a close guard.

Saddam's sons Uday and Qusay, killed by US troops six months before their father was captured near Tikrit in December 2003, also lie in Awja, in a family plot in the cemetery.

Their father's grave is dug into the floor of an octagonal, domed building he had built in the 1980s for religious festivals.

Men came in groups of several dozen to pay their respects by the mound of fresh clay, with a gravestone at head and foot and a large photograph, propped on a chair, of a younger, smiling Saddam wearing his trademark black fedora hat.

"All we can do now is take it out against the Americans and the government," one said.

More than 70 people were killed in car bomb attacks on Shiites on Saturday. Hundreds of Iraqi civilians are dying in violence every week.

Additional reporting by Aseel Kami, Ibon Villelabeitia, Claudia Parsons and Alastair Macdonald in Baghdad
 

 

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