Hundreds of Iraqis gathered at the tomb of former dictator Saddam Hussein on Friday to mark the third anniversary of his execution in 2006. Saddam and his two sons, Uday and Qusay, are buried in his hometown of Awja.
AFP - Hundreds of Iraqis gathered at the tomb of former dictator Saddam Hussein on Friday to commemorate the anniversary of his execution in 2006.
Throughout the day, they poured into the mausoleum in Saddam's hometown of Awja where the ex-president and his two sons, Uday and Qusay, are buried.
Saddam was actually hanged on December 30, 2006, which marked that year the first day of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. This year the festival began on Friday, according to the Islamic calendar.
"Every year, I visit Saddam's tomb because he remains our father and big brother," said Abu Abbas, who was at the mausoleum with his wife and two children. He refused to give his real name out of fear for his safety.
Umm Barack, who read a prayer over Saddam's grave and broke down in tears, told AFP that for her, "Saddam is not dead and history will remember what those cowards did to him."
Flowers were left at the tomb, where photos of the former president and his two sons are on display.
Saddam was captured in December 2003. He was executed after having been convicted of crimes against humanity for the murder of 148 Shiite villagers who were executed in the 1980s after an assassination attempt against him.
Born to an impoverished family in Awja on April 28, 1937, Saddam ruled Iraq with an iron fist from 1979 until he was ousted by a US-led invasion in March 2003.
His two sons were killed by the US military in July 2003 in the northern city of Mosul.
Date created : 2009-11-28