Military officer tells NBC News Saddam to hang before Sunday

(Gold9472: If I lived anywhere in Iraq, I would stay indoors for the next few days.)

Published: Thursday December 28, 2006

NBC News reports that the execution of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein "will take place before the start of the Eid religious holiday, which begins Sunday," according to an anonymous American military officer.

In a separate AFP report, the news agency reported that nearly 30 Iraqis were killed just as Hussein's judgement was published.

"Baghdad court published its formal written condemnation of Saddam Hussein, setting into motion the legal machinery leading to his execution, as 29 Iraqis were killed in attacks," AFP reported.

When asked by the AFP if Saddam's death by hanging could make things even worse in a country that more and more observers are beginning to conclude is already at "civil war," the official said that "they start violence for any reason they can come up with."

Earlier today, Reuters reported that Iraqi officials did not believe that Hussein would be executed this coming month, "casting doubt on how government factions may interpret an appeal court ruling that appeared to say he should die within 30 days."

"The officials indicated it seemed unlikely the former Iraqi president's sentence would be carried out before late January, despite a court statute that says executions must take place within 30 days after the sentence is confirmed," Reuters' article continued.

A chief court spokesman told the news agency that a "misunderstanding" on the statute meant that the former dictator "might not hang until February or later."