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Saddam's Baath party threatens retaliation

Baath Party threatens to retaliate if the ousted Iraqi leader is executed, warning in a web posting it would target US interests anywhere.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2006 20:36 IST

Saddam Hussein's Baath Party threatened on Wednesday to retaliate if the ousted Iraqi leader is executed, warning in an Internet posting it would target US interests anywhere.

The statement appeared on a website known to represent the Baath, which was disbanded after the US-led forces overthrew Saddam in 2003.

The site is believed to be run from Yemen, where a number of exiled members of the party are based.

On Tuesday, Iraq's highest court rejected Saddam's appeal against a conviction and death sentence for the killing of 148 people who were detained after an attempt to assassinate in Dujail, northern Iraq, in 1982.

The court said the former president should be hanged within 30 days.

"Our party warns again of the consequences of executing Mr. President and his comrades," the statement said.

"The Baath and the resistance are determined to retaliate, with all means and everywhere, to harm America and its interests if it commits this crime," the statement added, referring to Baath fighters as "the resistance."

"The American Administration will be held responsible for any harm inflicted on the president because the United States is the decision-maker (in Iraq) and not the puppet Iraqi government."

The statement said that if the execution takes place, it would be impossible for the Baath to take part in any prospective negotiations with US and Iraqi officials to reduce the violence in Iraq.

First Published: Dec 27, 2006 17:48 IST