Iraqis celebrating Sadam’s hanging

via Agencies published on December 30, 2006

BAGHDAD :  Celebrations are going on across Iraq after the hanging of former Iraqi dictator Sadam Hissain who was responsible for the killing of thousands of innocent Iraqis. The government did not impose any curfew, no protest marches seen anywhere in Iraq. In Baghdad’s Shiite enclave of Sadr City, people danced in the streets while others fired guns in the air to celebrate the former dictator’s death. 


 


Ali Hamza, a 30-year-old university professor, said he went outside to shoot his gun into the air after he heard the news.


 


“Now all the victims’ families will be happy because Saddam got his just sentence,” said Hamza, who lives in Diwaniyah, a Shiite town 130 kilometers south of Baghdad.


 


“We are looking for a new page of history despite the tragedy of the past,” said Saif Ibrahim, a 26-year-old Baghdad resident.


 


Last minutes of Saddam


 


Sami al-Askari, the political adviser of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, told that Saddam struggled when he was taken from his cell in an American military prison but was composed in his last moments.


 


He said Saddam was clad completely in black, with a jacket, trousers, hat and shoes, rather than prison garb.


 


Shortly before the execution, Saddam’s hat was removed and Saddam was asked if he wanted to say something, Askari said.


 


“No I don’t want to,” Askari, who was present at the execution, quoted Saddam as saying. Saddam repeated a prayer after a Sunni Muslim cleric who was present.


 


“Saddam later was taken to the gallows and refused to have his head covered with a hood,” Askari said. “Before the rope was put around his neck, Saddam shouted: ‘God is great.  


 


Saddam was executed at a former military intelligence headquarters in Baghdad’s Shiite neighborhood of Kazimiyah, Askari said. The neighborhood is home to the Iraqi capital’s most important Shiite shine, the Imam Kazim shrine.


 


Askari said the government had not decided what to do with Saddam’s body.

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