A frame grab from Iraqi state
televison shows a noose being placed around former Iraqi president Saddam
Hussein's neck December 30, 2006. [Reuters/Iraqi State Televison ]
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Saddam Hussein was buried before dawn on
Sunday in his native village of Awja, near Tikrit in northern Iraq, the head of
his tribe and a family source said.
Ali al-Nida, head of the Albu Nasir tribe, said the burial in a family plot
took place in the early morning, less than 24 hours after the former president
was hanged for crimes against humanity. (Full Text on Saddam's
On Saturday, television images showed a
noose being slipped over Saddam Hussein's neck and his white-shrouded body, the
pre-dawn work of black-hooded hangmen. Iraqis went to bed as new video
emerged showing Saddam exchanging taunts with onlookers before the gallows floor
dropped away and the former leader swung from the rope.
In Baghdad's Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City, victims of his three decades
of autocratic rule took to the streets to celebrate, dancing, beating drums and
hanging Saddam in effigy. Celebratory gunfire erupted across other Shiite
neighborhoods in Baghdad and other predominantly Shiite regions of the country.
There was no sign of a feared Sunni uprising in retaliation for the
execution, and the bloodshed from civil warfare was not far off the daily
average - 92 from bombings and death squads.
Outside the Sunni insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, west of the capital,
loyalists marched with Saddam pictures and waved Iraqi flags. Defying curfews,
hundreds took to the streets vowing revenge in Samarra, north of Baghdad, and
gunmen paraded and fired into the air in support of Saddam in Tikrit, his
Still, authorities imposed curfews sparingly in contrast to the several-day
lockdown put in place after Saddam was sentenced to death Nov. 5.
By several accounts, Saddam was calm but scornful of his captors, engaging in
a give-and-take with the crowd gathered to watch him die and insisting he was
Iraq's savior, not its tyrant and scourge.
"He said we are going to heaven and our enemies will rot in hell and he also
called for forgiveness and love among Iraqis but also stressed that the Iraqis
should fight the Americans and the Persians," Munir Haddad, an appeals court
judge who witnessed the hanging, told the British Broadcasting Corp.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang
said in Beijing Saturday that the Iraqi affairs should be decided by the
Qin made the remarks when asked to comment on the
execution of Saddam Hussein. He said China hopes Iraq can realize
stability and development in an early date.
spokesman of the Chinese Foreign
Another witness, national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie, told The New
York Times that one of the guards shouted at Saddam: "You have destroyed us. You
have killed us. You have made us live in destitution."
"I have saved you from destitution and misery and destroyed your enemies, the
Persian and Americans," Saddam responded, al-Rubaie told the Times.
"God damn you," the guard said.
"God damn you," responded Saddam.
New video, first broadcast by Al-Jazeera
satellite television early Sunday, had sound of someone in the group praising
the founder of the Shiite Dawa Party, who was executed in 1980 along with his
sister by Saddam.
don't believe that Saddam's execution would remotely help bring peace to
the country. ... Even politically I think it would carry ... more negative
consequences than positive ones."
Premier Romano Prodi.
to read more comments on executing Saddam
Saddam appeared to smile at those taunting him from below the gallows. He
said they were not showing manhood.
Then Saddam began reciting the "Shahada," a Muslim prayer that says there is
no god but God and Muhammad is his messenger, according to an unabridged copy of
the same tape, apparently shot with a camera phone and posted on a Web site.
Saddam made it to midway through his second recitation of the verse. His last
word was Muhammad.
The floor dropped out of the gallows.
"The tyrant has fallen," someone in the group of onlookers shouted. The video
showed a close-up of Saddam's face as he swung from the rope.
Then came another voice: "Let him swing for three minutes."