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Hussein Has Refused Food Since July 7

July 21, 2006|From the Associated Press

BAGHDAD — Ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has not eaten in nearly two weeks, and doctors have advised him that he may be endangering his health, a U.S. military spokesman said Thursday.

Hussein, 69, and three other people have refused meals since their July 7 dinner, although they drink coffee and water with nutrients, said Lt. Col. Keir-Kevin Curry, spokesman for detainee operations.

"They are examined daily by health professionals, who advise them of the dangers of not eating," Curry said.

Hussein and the others are in good health despite the hunger strike, he said.

The other three people who have refused to eat have not been identified but are believed to be co-defendants in the trial involving the 1982 slayings of 148 Shiite Muslims from the village of Dujayl.

Hussein and seven others are on trial for crimes against humanity in the deaths, which followed an assassination attempt against Hussein.

Hussein's chief attorney, Khalil Dulaimi, said Hussein went on the hunger strike to demand better security for his lawyers.

Khamis Ubaidi, Hussein's No. 2 lawyer, was slain last month. He was the third defense attorney killed since the trial began Oct. 19.

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