Furious Iraqi Sunnis took to the streets this week after Saddam Hussein’s half-brother was decapitated during his hanging. Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti was the head of Saddam’s secret police. He and another top Saddam aide, Awad Hamad al-Bandar, were hanged for the same crime as Saddam: ordering the killing of 148 Shiites in 1982. Iraqi officials closely supervised the executions to prevent a repeat of the verbal taunts that marred Saddam’s hanging in late December. But the hangmen used too long a rope for al-Tikriti, and he fell so fast that the noose ripped off his head. “When the trapdoor opened, I realized that I was looking at the rope hanging free, and asked myself, Where did Barzan go?” said chief prosecutor Jaafar al-Moussawi. The day after the funeral, rampaging Sunnis killed 109 people, mostly Shiites in attacks across the country.
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