His face was uncovered and he appeared to be extremely calm. Iraqi authorities have released images of executioners putting the noose around the neck of Saddam Hussein. Still photographs of his dead body have also been released to the media. The former Iraqi leader was pronounced dead shortly after 6am local time. The video images released by the authorities are stopped just before the actual moment of death.
The execution, for crimes against humanity, took place in a Justice Ministry facility in northern Baghdad. It is reported the former dictator learned of his impending death by being handed a red card – a system introduced during his own term in office. “Criminal Saddam was hanged to death,” said an announcement on Al Iraqiya television, which played patriotic music and showed images of national monuments. The Iraqi government says Saddam’s body will be buried in a secret location.
On Thursday, the former Iraqi President had a final meeting with two of his half-brothers, to whom he gave his will. It was in 1982 that Saddam survived an assassination attempt in Dujail, a mainly Shiite town 25 miles south of Baghdad. He ordered his security forces to attack the town. 148 residents were later executed.
The US president described the execution as an “important milestone”.