New Saddam video on Net: Baghdad

A grisly video showing the body of Saddam Hussein shortly after his hanging, his head sharply twisted to one side and a gaping bloody wound to his neck, was posted on the Internet on Tuesday.

The 27-second footage, apparently taken with a cellphone camera, is expected to trigger fresh outrage in Iraq over the manner in which the former dictator was hanged and his body treated immediately after the execution.

The footage begins by showing a body on a stretcher covered in a white shroud and the camera moving upwards.

As the camera reaches the head, the shroud is pulled aside to reveal the bearded face twisted sharply to his right with a wound just below his jaw on the left side.

A few red blotches are also seen on Saddam’s left cheek. Voices can be heard, apparently of those shooting the film secretly.

As the shroud is pulled back one voice is heard saying, “Hurry up, hurry up. I will count one to four.” Then another voice is heard saying, “Abu Ali, you take care of this.” The video follows an earlier one posted on the Net soon after the December 30 hanging, shot secretly on a cellphone camera, which showed Saddam at the gallows being taunted by guards moments before the trapdoor opens.

A voice, apparently of a Shia guard, mocks him as others put a noose around his neck.

Others can be heard chanting “Moqtada, Moqtada, Moqtada!” — a reference to Moqtada al-Sadr, a radical Shia cleric and opponent of Saddam. “Go to hell,” Saddam seems to respond, although the sound is not clear.

Saddam appears angry but remains composed in his final minutes, standing on a dusty platform in a hall in a north Baghdad military base, his hands bound and a hemp rope round his neck.

As he drops through the metal trapdoor his final prayer, the “shahada” or last testimony, is caught short.


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