Saddam Hussein was buried before dawn Sunday at his tribal plot in Awja village near Tikrit, 24 hours after he was hanged for crimes against humanity

His last words were an unrepentant: “Palestine is ours.” Saddam who ruled Iraq for 35 years was 69. He passed from US to Iraqi custody Friday. He passed from US to Iraqi custody Friday. Although US and Iraqi forces were on high alert for sectarian bloodshed, three car bombs in Baghdad killed at least 37 people, injured 65. Libya announced three days of mourning.
Saddam was condemned to death with his half-brother Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikrity and the former chairman of the Baath revolutionary courts Awad Ahmad al Bandar. Executions will come later. Saddam was the first Middle East leader to be executed at the instance of a foreign power, the US. A big question is therefore how he will be remembered by the predominantly Sunni Arab peoples of the Middle East: as a bloodthirsty, cruel dictator, or as the protector of Sunni Muslim Arabs against Shiite Iran, whom he fought for eight years. In the end he paid with his life for the massacre of 142 Shiites in Dujail in 1982. His trial for the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Kurds was interrupted by his death. Palestinians esteem him for aiding Yasser Arafat and their war against Israel with generous grants to suicide killers and their families. In the first Gulf War in 1991, he fired 39 Scud missiles against Tel Aviv, although Israel did not take part in the war.
Palestinian organizatons of all stripes set up mourning tents to honor “a great ruler” across the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Some protest rallies also took place.
The Americans will do what they can to prevent Saddam going down as a holy martyr. US diplomatic and military installations are on high alert for revenge terrorist attacks and kidnappings across the Middle East and Europe.
Iraq’s Baath insurgents warned Thursday of grave consequences to US interests everywhere if their leader goes to the gallows.

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