Iraqi officials say former dictator Saddam Hussein will go on trial in the second half of October, so as not to affect the outcome of a national referendum on the constitution to be held October 15.

No official announcement has come from the Iraqi Special Tribunal in charge of the trials, but officials close to the case said Friday that Saddam Hussein will be tried for the 1982 killing of dozens of residents of the town of Dujail. The killings were allegedly in retaliation for a failed assassination attempt against him there.

Later, Saddam Hussein is expected to be tried for other alleged crimes, including the 1988 gassing of Kurds in Halabja and the 1991 suppression of a Shi'ite uprising in southern Iraq.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.