Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Brutal History of Terror

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Brutal History of Terror

Article excerpt

During the decades of Saddam Hussein's brutal dictatorship not even his family escaped the terror.

The 66-year-old's acts of violence go back as far as 1958 when he spent six months in jail for the murder of his communist brother-in-law.

He joined the Baath Party in 1957 and took ultimate control of the nationalist Arab party in 1979, 11 years after it had seized power in a coup.

When he took over as president in July 1979, hundreds of senior party members were imprisoned or executed as part of his determination to stamp his authority on the party.

Just a year later, Saddam invaded Iran and so began the bloody Iran-Iraq war which lasted eight years and killed one million people.

And the dictator proved just as terrifying in his own country when in March 1988, he used chemical weapons against the Kurdish town of Halabja, killing an estimated 5,000 civilians.

Evidence has also emerged of 270 mass graves across Iraq which are believed to hold the remains of up to 30,000 people. …

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