Saddam Hussein, fifth President of Iraq, Died at 69

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Saddam Hussein died on the 30th of December 2006 at the age of 69; he was the fifth President of Iraq.

Born on the 28th of April 1937, as vice president under the ailing General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, and at a time when many groups were considered capable of overthrowing the government, Saddam created security forces through which he tightly controlled conflict between the government and the armed forces.

In the early 1970s, Saddam nationalized oil and other industries.

The state-owned banks were put under his control, leaving the system eventually insolvent mostly due to the Iran–Iraq War, the Gulf War, and UN sanctions.

Through the 1970s, Saddam cemented his authority over the apparatuses of government as oil money helped Iraq’s economy to grow at a rapid pace.

His mother, Subha Tulfah al-Mussallat, named her newborn son Saddam, which in Arabic means “One who confronts”.

He is always referred to by this personal name, which may be followed by the patronymic and other elements.

He never knew his father, Hussein ‘Abid al-Majid, who disappeared six months before Saddam was born.

Shortly afterward, Saddam’s 13-year-old brother died of cancer.

The infant Saddam was sent to the family of his maternal uncle Khairallah Talfah until he was three.

After secondary school Saddam studied at an Iraqi law school for three years, dropping out in 1957 at the age of 20 to join the revolutionary pan-Arab Ba’ath Party, of which his uncle was a supporter.

During this time, Saddam apparently supported himself as a secondary school teacher.

Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging, after being found guilty and convicted of crimes against humanity by the Iraqi Special Tribunal for the murder of 148 Iraqi Shi’ites in the town of Dujail in 1982, in retaliation for an assassination attempt against him.

International public controversy arose when an unauthorized mobile phone recording of the hanging showed him surrounded by a contingent of his countrymen who jeered him in Arabic and his subsequent fall through the trap door of the gallows.

The atmosphere of the execution drew criticism around the world from nations that both oppose and support capital punishment.

Saddam was executed by hanging at approximately 06:00 local time (03:00 GMT) on 30 December 2006, the day Sunni Iraqis begin celebrating Eid al-Adha.

Reports conflicted as to the exact time of the execution, with some sources reporting the time as 06:00, 06:05, or some, as late as 06:10.

The execution took place at the joint Iraqi-American military base Camp Justice, located in Kazimain, a north-eastern suburb of Baghdad.

Contrary to initial reports, Saddam was executed alone, not at the same time as his co-defendants Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, who were executed on the 15th of January 2007.

On 3 January 2007, the Iraqi government arrested the guard who they believe made the mobile phone video. However, it was too late to prevent the video from spreading across the internet.

Iraqi National Security Advisor Mowaffak al-Rubaie later held a press conference and where he announced that three arrests had been made in connection with the investigation into the video recording and leak.


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