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At his trial, Hussein urgesIraqis to forgive, reconcile

He calmly speaks of Jesus Christ and the prophet Mohammed.

Associated Press
Published November 8, 2006


BAGHDAD - A somber Saddam Hussein called on Iraqis to "forgive, reconcile and shake hands" as he returned to court Tuesday for his Kurdish genocide trial two days after being sentenced to death in a separate case.

The call from Hussein came after he rose during the afternoon session to question the testimony of the witnesses, who told of a mass killing of Iraqi Kurds in a crackdown in 1987-88.

Hussein then calmly spoke about how the prophet Mohammed and Jesus Christ asked for forgiveness for those who had opposed them. "I call on all Iraqis, Arabs and Kurds, to forgive, reconcile and shake hands," he said before resuming his seat.

The former president's demeanor was far different from his combative performance Sunday, when another court convicted him in the deaths of about 150 Shiite Muslims after an assassination attempt against him in the town of Dujail in 1982.

As Hussein stood trial, violence in Baghdad continued. Police said two mortar shells killed 14 people in a Shiite neighborhood after mortar fire killed seven in a Sunni neighborhood.

The U.S. military announced an American soldier was killed by an explosion late Monday in Baghdad.

[Last modified November 8, 2006, 01:58:25]

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