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Reaction to Saddam's Execution Ranges From Jubilation to Condemnation


World reaction to the execution of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein ranges from jubilation to condemnation and anger.

In Baghdad Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the death of Saddam closes a dark chapter in the history of his country. He said the policy of discrimination and marginalization that plagued Iraq for 35 years is over.

President Bush called the execution an important milestone for Iraq's path to democracy. He said Saddam's death marks the end of a difficult year for all Iraqis, but he warned it would not stop the violence in the war-torn country.

Human rights groups and others opposed to capital punishment, however, condemned Saddam's execution. The Vatican said the killing of the guilty is not a route to justice or reconciliation. A spokesman said the risk of the execution might fuel the spirit of vengeance and sow the seeds of new violence.

Meanwhile, protests against Saddam's execution have broken out in several countries around the world - including Iraq, Pakistan and India.

Street celebrations, however, were reported in Baghdad's Shi'ite Sadr City slum and other predominantly Shi'ite areas.

Kuwait hailed the execution as fair and just. Iran called it a "victory for the Iraqi people."

The Hamas-led Palestinian government denounced Saddam's hanging, and Libya declared three days of official mourning.

Finally, London-based Amnesty International called the trial "flawed," and said the execution only aggravates the cruel and degrading nature of the death penalty.

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