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White House Urges 'Appropriate Care' in Iraq Executions


The White House is urging Iraqi officials to handle the execution of two of Saddam Hussein's co-defendants with what it calls "appropriate care."

Media reports indicate the execution of the two high-ranking officials in Saddam's regime - Barzan al-Tikriti, Saddam's half brother and former intelligence chief; and Awad al-Bander, a former chief judge - may be postponed. Earlier, the U.N. Human Rights Commissioner voiced concern about the "fairness and impartiality" of their trials.

There has also been international criticism over the handling of Saddam Hussein's execution, when onlookers taunted the former dictator before hanging him.

Iraqi officials say they are continuing an inquiry into the unauthorized video recording of the execution, and are questioning at least two guards suspected of involvement.

Meanwhile, Thursday in Baghdad Iraqi officials say two bomb blasts in the upscale Mansour neighborhood killed at least 13 people and wounded more than 20 others.

A U.S. military statement said an insurgent attack on a military patrol in western Baghdad Thursday killed one soldier.

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