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Iraq: Head Of Governing Council Says Hussein To Be Tried At Home

Baghdad, 17 December 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The head of the Iraqi Governing Council Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim has said that deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein will be tried in an Iraqi court, the BBC reported. Speaking at a London news conference after meeting with U.K. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, al-Hakim said that international monitors would be allowed to observe the proceedings.

"He will be tried and after that we will do what the judge and the court will decide", al-Hakim said, refusing to say whether Hussein would be given the death penalty.

In other news, two separate explosions in Baghdad killed 11 Iraqis today. Ten people were killed and 15 wounded when an explosives-laden truck collided with a passenger bus near a busy intersection.

Baghdad Police Chief Hamid Sabah Fahed said the attack targeted civilians, and there were no soldiers or police in the area. The U.S. military said that two hours later, a roadside bomb exploded, killing one Iraqi and wounding two others. A spokeswoman said the bomb evidently missed its target, a U.S. patrol, and hit the Iraqis.

There are reports, as yet unconfirmed officially, that two roadside bombs exploded in the northern Iraqi oil center of Kirkuk late today as a U.S. convoy passed.

In other developments, the U.S. military says it has opened a new operation targeting insurgents in the town of Samarra, north of Baghdad.