Hundreds of Iraqi Shi'ites have gathered on the streets of Baghdad's Sadr City district to celebrate the death sentence handed down to deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Residents of the Shi'ite suburb danced, waved flags and set fire to pictures of Saddam. The district is controlled by the Shi'ite Mahdi militia, which largely ignored a strict curfew imposed on the rest of the Iraqi capital.

Other parts of the Iraqi capital were largely quiet as the curfew remains in place. It is aimed at preventing outbreaks of sectarian fighting over the Saddam verdict.

However, officials say gunmen fought with police in northern Baghdad's Azamiyah district, which is dominated by Sunni Muslims.

Several Iraqi Sunni politicians have criticized the death sentence on Saddam - a Sunni - and warned it could spark greater bloodshed between Sunnis and Shi'ites.

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