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Iraq Carries Out First Legal Executions in Post-Saddam Era

Iraq executed three convicted murderers Thursday - the first time the government has carried out the death penalty since Saddam Hussein was in power.

A government spokesman, Laith Kubba, told reporters that the three were hanged at 10 AM local time.

They were convicted of kidnapping, rape and murder.

The presidential council approved their death sentences last month. But President Jalal Talabani, who opposes the death penalty, refused to authorize the hangings, and instead empowered one of his vice presidents to sign on his behalf.

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