Celebrations in Baghdad, protests in Tikrit over the Saddam death sentence.
“Saddam Hussein sentenced to death,” from the BBC, :
When called to court, Saddam Hussein, dressed in his usual dark suit and white shirt and carrying a Koran, walked to his customary seat and sat down.
Judge Rauf Abdel Rahman ordered him to stand while he read out the verdict, but the former president defiantly refused to do so and had to be moved from his seat by court attendants.
As the judge began reading the death sentence Saddam Hussein shouted out “Allahu Akbar!” (God is Great) and “Long live Iraq! Long live the Iraqi people! Down with the traitors!”
The former leader looked shocked and furious as the sentence was passed, and continued to shout, denouncing the court, the judge and the US-led occupation force in Iraq.
Shortly after the verdict was announced celebratory gunfire could be heard across Baghdad.
In the Shia district of Sadr City there was jubilation on the streets, with people driving around in cars, sounding their horns. There were also jubilant scenes in the holy city of Najaf.
The Baghdad celebrations were in defiance of a 12-hour daytime curfew banning all vehicle and pedestrian traffic which was placed on the whole city of six million people amid fears of violence from Saddam Hussein’s Sunni Arab supporters.
The government cancelled all army leave and the city’s civilian airport was closed.
Immediately after the sentencing, violence reportedly broke out in the mainly Sunni Azamiya district of Baghdad, with machine guns and mortars being fired.
Three nearby provinces, including Salahuddin, which contains Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, are also under curfew.
Thousands of people also defied the curfew in Tikrit – but there it was to voice support for Saddam Hussein and to denounce the verdict.
Sunnis in Tikrit marched through the city, chanting “We will avenge you Saddam.”