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Saddam's execution draws protests in Moscow

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The Russian ultra-nationalist LDPR party has protested Saddam Hussein's execution, staging a rally outside the Iraqi Embassy in central Moscow, law enforcement agencies said Saturday.
MOSCOW, December 30 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian ultra-nationalist LDPR party has protested Saddam Hussein's execution, staging a rally outside the Iraqi Embassy in central Moscow, law enforcement agencies said Saturday.

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was executed by hanging early Saturday.

A police spokesman said 44 people gathered in front of the Iraqi Embassy building, all of them LDPR members, adding that although the protest was not sanctioned by the city authorities, the protesters behaved peacefully and no one was detained.

Russia's Foreign Ministry expressed regret over Saddam's execution and warned about a possible deterioration of the situation in Iraq.

A Ministry spokesman said earlier today the execution may aggravate the military-political situation in Iraq and heighten ethnic tensions in the country.

"The situation in Iraq is heading into a worst-case scenario. The country is slipping into violence and is on the verge of a large-scale civil conflict. Saddam Hussein's death can further aggravate the military-political situation and increase ethnic and religious tensions," Mikhail Kamynin said.

He said Russia is ready to help reach a comprehensive settlement in Iraq both on the bilateral and multilateral basis.

Saddam Hussein was convicted last month of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging.

The sentence was upheld on appeal December 26.

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