Saddam Hussein's execution could be within next 48-36 hours
Saddam's execution could be imminent
Washington -- Three US television networks reported Thursday that the execution of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein was likely to be carried out within the next three days in Iraq.
NBC, CBS and Fox News Channel cited unnamed US military officials speaking on condition of anonymity, as their sources for the reports.
Sunday marks the last day of 2006 and the start of an Islamic festival to marke the end of the hajj, or month of pilgrimage.
Fox News reported a US military official as saying the Iraqi government was "anxious to get Saddam's execution done."
NBC said that the US military, which has held custody of Saddam during his trials for a 1982 massacre in the Shiite town of Dujail and a second case of alleged genocide against Iraqi Kurds, had received a formal request from the Iraqi government to transfer him to Iraqi authorities.
CBS news reported that Saddam would be turned over to the Iraqi government within the next 36 hours.
In contrast, Fran Townsend, homeland security advisor to US President George W Bush, told the Cable News Network (CNN) Thursday evening that Saddam would be transferred to Iraqi custody when requested by Baghdad officials, implying that the formal request and transfer had yet to happen.
Earlier this week, Iraq's highest court rejected Saddam's appeal against his death sentence, meted out for the killing of 148 Shiites in Dujail, following an assassination attempt against Saddam. // © 2006 DPA
|This file picture dated 08 November 2006 shows former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein addressing the court during the Anfal trial inside the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad. The death sentence passed on former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity has been upheld by Iraq's appeals court Iraqi television reported Tuesday 26 December 2006. Saddam and six of his former top government aides were found guilty of ordering the killing of 148 Shiites in the town of Dujail in 1982 in retaliation for an attempt on Saddam's life. EPA/SCOTT NELSON|