Iraq on alert ahead of Saddam verdict, US Elections days away

By | November 3, 2006

Iraq on alert ahead of Saddam verdict US Elections days away

“Iraq’s beleaguered armed forces were ordered on high alert ahead of the verdict in the trial of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, while killings continued to mount across the violence-wracked country.

As Iraq stepped up security, the US military said that eight more of its troops had been killed since Wednesday and that the bodies of 23 murdered Iraqis had been found in Baghdad over the previous 24 hours.

The Iraqi High Tribunal trying Saddam for crimes against humanity will deliver its verdict on Sunday, and Iraq has cancelled all military leave to thwart any outbreak of violence before or after the ruling.

“All military personnel are on alert. Leave has been cancelled and we are on alert for any possible emergency. Those on leave should report to their units,” said defence ministry spokesman Major General Ibrahim Shaker.

Saddam and seven former regime officials are accused of ordering the deaths of 148 Shiites in the village of Dujail, north of Baghdad, where the deposed president escaped an assassination attempt in 1982.

The tribunal is expected to deliver a death sentence on the former Iraqi military strongman, a judgment that could further escalate violence.” – yahoo

Timing: three days before US mid-term elections. Some think of this election as America’s last chance.

All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives will be up for election. All terms are for two years. … The 33 seats in the United States Senate Class 1 will be up for election. All terms are for six years. … Of the 50 Governors of US states, 36 are up for election. Most terms are for four years, although Vermont and New Hampshire elect governors to two-year terms.

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