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Iraq Transition

Saddam Hussein's vice president hanged

Story Highlights

Two journalists killed in Baghdad recently, group reports
• Hussein VP Ramadan executed in the 1982 killing of 148 men and boys in Dujail
• Car bomb kills five people outside police station in Baghdad
• Second car bomb rips through commercial district of Shiite neighborhood
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Taha Yassin Ramadan, the former vice president under Saddam Hussein, was hanged just before dawn Tuesday, according to a source close to Iraq's High Tribunal.

Ramadan telephoned his family before the execution, and his family asked attorney Badie Aref to appeal to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and other government officials to stop the execution, Aref said.

Last month, Ramadan was sentenced to death by the Iraqi court for his role in the 1982 killings of 148 men and boys in Dujail. An appeals court upheld the sentence last week.

Ramadan was sentenced to life in prison in November on charges that included willful killing in the 1982 crackdown, but the next month, the tribunal's nine-member appeals chamber decided the original sentence was too lenient and ordered the court to resentence him.

The court's decision drew opposition from coalition officials and nongovernmental groups in Iraq, and some members of Iraq's legal advisory community suggested judges came under pressure from politicians.

Hussein, Hussein's half-brother, Barzan Hassan, and another official from his regime -- Awad Bandar -- also have been hanged for their roles in the Dujail crackdown.

Hassan and Bandar were executed side-by-side January 15, and Hussein was hanged December 30.

Two Iraqi journalists killed

Two Iraqi journalists have been slain recently by armed groups in Baghdad, an international media watchdog group reported Tuesday.

The group -- Reporters Without Borders -- said 155 media staffers have been killed in Iraq since the war began four years ago.

Hamid al-Duleimi, a producer on the TV channel al-Nahrain, was found dead Monday in the Baghdad morgue after he was abducted Saturday as he left the station.

"Autopsy reports revealed that the journalist had been tortured. Two other employees of the channel were killed in May 2006 after being stopped at a fake military roadblock in the Iraqi capital," the group said.

Hussein al Jaburi, editor of the daily al-Safir, died from injuries Friday in a hospital in Amman, Jordan, Reporters Without Borders said. He was being treated after an ambush February 11 outside his house in Baghdad.

Reporters Without Borders and another media watchdog group, Committee to Protect Journalists, reported a commentator on Radio Dijla, Karim Manhal, was kidnapped outside the radio station in Baghdad with his driver, Thamir Sabri. The incident took place Saturday, CPJ said. There has been no word of their whereabouts.

Car bombs kill at least 7

A car bomb exploded near a police station in central Baghdad Tuesday, killing at least five people and wounding 17 others, police said.

A second car bomb ripped through a commercial district in the capital's Karrada neighborhood, killing two people and wounding at least seven others. Karrada is a predominantly Shiite area in central Baghdad.

In southern Baghdad, a bomb was detonated inside a minibus in Mujjama al-Mishin, injuring five people.

The Baghdad violence comes a day after six explosions in oil-rich Kirkuk killed at least 10 people and wounded 37 and after a bomb blast at a Baghdad mosque left six people dead and 32 wounded, police said.

Two U.S. soldiers were killed in Baghdad Tuesday when a roadside bomb hit their unit's vehicle during a combat security patrol, the U.S. military said.

The soldiers were from Multi-National Division-Baghdad and the incident occurred in a southern section of the Iraqi capital.

The number of U.S. military personnel killed in the four-year-old Iraq war is 3,222, including seven civilian contractors of the Defense Department.

Other developments

  • Coalition forces detained nine insurgents during raids Tuesday, seven in Mosul and two southwest of Abu Ghraib, which is on the outskirts of Baghdad, the military said. One of the Mosul detainees is suspected of procuring chemicals for roadside bombs and the two in Abu Ghraib are accused of "moving foreign terrorists into Iraq," the military said.
  • When American troops crossed into Iraq in 2003, nearly three out of every four Americans backed President Bush's decision to use military force to topple Hussein's regime. Four years and more than 3,200 U.S. deaths later, less than one-third of Americans support the war, according to the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll. (Full story)
  • CNN's Ed Henry and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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