Egypt fears Hussein death backlash
"CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Egypt's president came out strongly against hanging Saddam Hussein, saying in remarks published Thursday that it could make Iraq explode into more violence. But Iraq's prime minister said the execution could take place by the end of the year.
The statement from President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt broke an uneasy silence among Arab leaders over Sunday's verdict by an Iraqi court, which convicted Hussein for the killings of some 150 Shiite Muslims after an assassination attempt against him in 1982.
Mubarak, a regional heavyweight and a top U.S. ally, appeared to speak for many in the region who are uneasy about seeing a former Arab president tried and sentenced -- no matter how much they disliked Hussein's regime. Analysts suggested Arab leaders are worried about the precedent an execution would set, and said Arab publics often identify with their leaders.
"Carrying out this verdict will explode violence like waterfalls in Iraq," Mubarak was quoted as saying by state-run Egyptian newspapers. Hanging Hussein "will transform (Iraq) into blood pools and lead to a deepening of the sectarian and ethnic conflicts.""