Iraqis Rejoice, Rage over Saddam's Sentence Celebratory gunfire was heard in Shiite neighborhoods on the news that Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death. But in Sunni areas, angry pro-Saddam demonstrators attacked U.S. forces. In the north of the country, Kurds were relatively quiet.
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Iraqis Rejoice, Rage over Saddam's Sentence

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Iraqis Rejoice, Rage over Saddam's Sentence

Iraqis Rejoice, Rage over Saddam's Sentence

Iraqis Rejoice, Rage over Saddam's Sentence

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6438016/6438017" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An Iraqi man in Najaf carries a picture of the leader of the Supreme council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq party, Shiite cleric Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, as he celebrates the guilty verdict. Saad Serhan/Getty Images hide caption

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Saad Serhan/Getty Images

An Iraqi man in Najaf carries a picture of the leader of the Supreme council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq party, Shiite cleric Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, as he celebrates the guilty verdict.

Saad Serhan/Getty Images

Iraqi reaction to Saddam Hussein's sentencing broke down almost completely along sectarian lines.

In Baghdad, mass demonstrations took place in Shiite neighborhoods, with people firing guns into the air and waving banners.

In Sunni areas, pro-Saddam demonstrators took to the streets. All of this despite a curfew banning all vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Elsewhere in the country the pattern repeated itself. In the mainly Shiite southern port city of Basra, and the Shiite holy city of Najaf, demonstrators took to the streets in celebration.

But in Saddam's hometown of Tikrit and other Sunni cities, including the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, angry demonstrators denounced the sentence.