The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local news

December 30, 2006

Saddam Hussein dies on the gallows, exiting the Iraqi stage after a long, brutal reign

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Clutching a Quran and refusing a hood, Saddam Hussein went to the gallows before sunrise Saturday, executed by vengeful countrymen after a quarter-century of remorseless brutality that killed countless thousands and led Iraq into disastrous wars against the United States and Iran.

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. The government did not impose a round-the-clock curfew as it did last month when Saddam was convicted to thwart any surge in retaliatory violence.

It was a grim end for the 69-year-old leader who had vexed three U.S. presidents. Despite his ouster, Washington, its allies and the new Iraqi leaders remain mired in a fight to quell a stubborn insurgency by Saddam loyalists and a vicious sectarian conflict.

President Bush called Saddam’s execution “the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime.”

The execution took place during the year’s deadliest month for U.S. troops, with the toll reaching 108.

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 80 miles 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.

State-run Iraqiya television initially reported that Saddam’s half-brother Barzan Ibrahim and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court, also were hanged. However, three officials later said only Saddam was executed.

“We wanted him to be executed on a special day,” National Security adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie told state-run Iraqiyah.

Text Only
Local news
News Photos


Enid News & Eagle photos taken throughout February 2014. Enjoy full-access all ENE photos at http://enidnews.smugmug.com