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New Video of Saddam's Corpse on Internet

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By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA
The Associated Press
Tuesday, January 9, 2007; 4:26 AM

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A new video of Saddam Hussein's corpse, with a gaping neck wound, was posted on the Internet early Tuesday, the second leaked release of clandestine pictures from the former leader's hanging.

The video appeared to have been taken with a camera phone, like the graphic video of the hanging which showed guards taunting Saddam in the final moments of his life.

The footage pans up the shrouded body of the former leader from the feet. It apparently was taken shortly after Saddam was executed and placed on a gurney. He was hanged shortly before dawn on Dec. 30.

As the panning shot reaches the head region, the white shroud is pulled back and reveals Saddam's head and neck.

His head is unnaturally twisted at a 90 degree angle to his right. It shows a gaping bloody wound, circular in shape, about an inch below his jaw line on the left side of his neck. His left cheek is marked with red blotches, and there is blood on the shroud where it covered his head.

The newest video leak was likely to increase the angry reaction over the way the execution was carried out. There already has been a global outcry about the undignified manner in which the Shiite-dominated government hanged Saddam, a Sunni.

The 27-second video was posted on an Iraqi news Web site that is known to support Saddam's outlawed Baath Party.

"A new film of the late immortal martyr, President Saddam Hussein," the web site said in a headline over a link to the video.

Voices could be heard on the video. As the shroud is pulled back, one voice says, "Hurry up, hurry up. I'm going to count from one to four. One, two ... . Hurry up you're going to get us into a catastrophe."

Then another voice, apparently the man taking the pictures, says, "Just one second, just one second, Abu Ali. I'm about finished."

Then a third voice says, "Abu Ali, you take care of this."

It was the second clandestine video to have leaked, the first showing Saddam being taunted in his final moments. That clandestine video showed the former leader dropping through the gallows floor as he offered chanted prayers. It ends with his dead body swinging at the end of a rope.

The hanging video was in sharp contrast with an official video that was broadcast not long after Saddam's execution which showed him standing silently on the gallows as the noose was put around his neck. The official video was muted.

The leaked hanging video, however, was shot from the floor of the gallows chamber, looking up at Saddam. Voices could be heard taunting him with cries of "Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada," referring to radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Shiite Mahdi Army militia and a key support of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The prime minister pushed for Saddam to be executed before the end of 2006 and just four days after the death sentence was upheld by the appeals court. U.S. official sought to delay the execution.


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