Saddam, 7 co-defendants on hunger strike

Associated Press

AMMAN, Jordan - Saddam Hussein and his seven co-defendants went on a hunger strike Wednesday to protest the killing of an attorney on the defense team, Saddam's chief lawyer said. Khalil al-Dulaimi told The Associated Press, "President Saddam and other members of his leadership went on a hunger strike today to protest the killing of Khamis al-Obeidi."

"They pledged not to end the strike until international protection is provided to the defense team," said al-Dulaimi, who was visiting Jordan.

Al-Obeidi was shot to death Wednesday after being abducted from his Baghdad home by men in police uniforms. His was the third killing of a member of the former Iraqi leader's defense team since the trial began some eight months ago.

Al-Obeidi, who represented Saddam and his half brother Barzan Ibrahim, was kidnapped from his house in the morning, al-Dulaimi said. His body was found on a street near the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City, Iraqi police Lt. Thaer Mahmoud said.

Al-Dulaimi blamed the Interior Ministry for the killing. The Interior Ministry had no comment on the claim.