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Hussein's Victims, Supporters Protest As Trial Begins

Saddam Hussein at his previous arraignment in court (file photo) Baghdad, 19 October 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Dozens of relatives of Iraqis killed while Saddam Hussein was president demonstrated today in the town of Al-Dujayl as the former leader's trial began.

The crowd held pictures of their dead relatives, shouting: "Death sentence for Saddam." Hussein and seven other men are facing charges that they ordered the killing of more than 140 people from the mainly Shi'ite Muslim village of Al-Dujayl after a failed 1982 assassination attempt on Hussein in the town.

Also today, dozens of Hussein's supporters took to the streets of his hometown Tikrit, north of Baghdad, chanting
"Long Live Saddam Hussein."

Hussein's trial began with him arguing with the court's judge and evading the judge's request that he identify himself to the court.