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Russia's State Duma Warns Against Executing Saddam

Russia's lower house of parliament has warned that the execution of Saddam Hussein could lead to a further escalation of violence in war-torn Iraq.

The Kremlin-controlled State Duma Wednesday unanimously approved a statement saying that executing Saddam "will not solve the existing problems of the long-suffering people of Iraq."

An Iraqi tribunal this month convicted the former president of crimes against humanity for the 1982 killings of 148 Iraqi Shi'ite Muslims in the village of Dujail, and sentenced him to death by hanging. No execution date has been set.

Moscow has been a consistent critic of the U.S.-led military campaign in Iraq.

Russian authorities have warned previously that Saddam's execution will dangerously increase tensions between Iraq's Sunni Muslims who backed Saddam, and the majority Shi'ite population which supported the death penalty.

Some information for this report provided by AP.