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Saddam Hussein Urges Reconciliation as Second Trial Resumes


Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has urged Iraqis to seek national reconciliation, two days after a court sentenced him to hang for crimes against humanity.

Saddam called on "all Iraqis, Arabs and Kurds, to forgive, reconcile and shake hands" as he returned to a Baghdad court Tuesday to face charges of genocide.

Prosecutors accuse Saddam and six co-defendents of killing more than 180,000 Kurds in the 1988 Anfal campaign in northern Iraq.

One Kurdish witness testified that Saddam's forces gunned down his friends and relatives after promising amnesty. Another witness corroborated the story and submitted a video of a mass grave found near his village.

Sunday, Iraq's High Tribunal condemned Saddam to death by hanging for ordering the killing in 1982 of 148 Shi'ite villagers in Dujail.

The death sentence is subject to an automatic appeal, which is expected to begin in the coming days.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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