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New Video Shows Hussein's Body After Hanging

A shot from the video that emerged today (AFP) January 9, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- A new video showing the body of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein shortly after his December 30 hanging has appeared on the Internet, amid continuing anger over how Iraqi authorities handed the former leader's execution.

The grainy footage is less than 30 seconds long. It shows a shrouded figure on a hospital trolley. The sheet is pulled back to reveal Hussein's blotched face, his head severely twisted to the right. The camera then zooms in on what appears to be a gaping wound in Hussein's throat.

A voice is heard saying, "Abu Ali, please help me with this."

This is the third illicit film to emerge since Hussein was executed.

Iraqi authorities are still investigating an earlier mobile-phone video showing Shi'ite officials taunting the former leader moments before he is hanged.

That tape triggered outrage among Hussein's fellow Sunnis, and the new video threatens to inflame sectarian tensions even further.

A New Strategy

Its release comes as U.S. President George W. Bush prepares to make a keenly anticipated speech outlining a new strategy for Iraq aimed at quelling the violence and stabilizing the country.

Bush is not scheduled to speak until the evening of January 11, but already details are emerging. The plan is believed to include a series of political, economic, and security goals that the Iraqi government must try to meet.

And lawmakers who met Bush on January 8 said the president told them he would call for more troops to be sent to Iraq.

While they said the president offered no specifics, Republican Senator Gordon Smith (Oregon) said it was clear the plan was for an additional 20,000 troops.

That's something the opposition Democrats -- now in control of Congress -- have criticized as an escalation of the war.

"I met with the [U.S.] President [George W. Bush] last week and expressed my clear and unequivocal opposition to an escalation of troop levels in Iraq," Democratic Senator Barack Obama (Illionois) said on January 8. "I don't think that 15,000 or 20,000 more troops is going to make a difference in Iraq and in Baghdad. What will make a difference is a political accommodation between the Shi'a, the Sunnis, and the Kurds."

Advocates of boosting troop levels, however, argue that the violence must first be quelled so that the political process can be restored.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said the president knows it's important to build as much political consensus as he can.

"The whole world is watching," he said, "and it's important to get this right."

Saddam Hussein: Looking Back

Saddam Hussein: Looking Back
A DICTATOR'S LIFE: A photo gallery of images from the life of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

MORE: A timeline of the life of Saddam Hussein.