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Former Iraqi Leader Saddam Hussein Executed in Baghdad


Ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has been executed for committing crimes against humanity.

He was hanged just before dawn today in Baghdad, four days after Iraq's high court turned down his appeal.

The 69-year-old former dictator had been sentenced to death November fifth for ordering the killing of 148 Shi'ite villagers in 1982 following a failed assassination attempt on Saddam.

Iraqi television has broadcast video of the hanging, showing several masked men walking a shackled and handcuffed Saddam to the gallows, then placing a noose around his neck. Saddam, who refused to wear a hood over his head, appeared calm in the moments before his hanging.

Pictures of Saddam's body wrapped in a white shroud appeared later on Iraqi television. His head, which was not covered, was twisted at a sharp angle.

The execution took place at a former military intelligence headquarters in Baghdad's Shi'ite neighborhood of Kazimayah, outside the heavily fortified Green Zone.

Many Iraqis celebrated in the streets after hearing Saddam had been hanged.

Iraqi officials were discussing with Saddam's family how to proceed with his burial.

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