Developments in Iraq on Tuesday

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

* Saddam Hussein underwent an operation to repair a hernia about 10 days ago and has made a full recovery, Iraqi sources said. The ousted dictator was taken to the Ibn Sina hospital near the U.S.-controlled Green Zone for the procedure, which was performed by Iraqi doctors, according to sources close to the Human Rights Ministry.

A videotape surfaced on the Internet showing what was said to be the confession and beheading of an Arab Shiite Muslim, presumably Iraqi, whom the insurgents accused of working with the U.S. military. The video's authenticity could not be verified, but it was posted in the name of the Ansar al-Sunnah Army, on a Web site where such militant content is often released. It showed a man, who identified himself as Al-Sayed Alaa al-Malki, kneeling in front of two masked gunmen.

A Saudi truck driver briefly kidnapped in Iraq is suing Al-Jazeera television for "moral damages," saying a cameraman videotaped him during his captivity and broadcast the footage without reporting the kidnapping to authorities, his attorney said.

French President Jacques Chirac said his country is "entirely committed" to taking part in an international conference on Iraq next month. Chirac called on foreign ministers to work out the details and participants for the conference, which Iraqi leaders have recommended and U.S. officials support.

Iraq's top Shiite cleric is urging Iraqis to register to vote in the January elections, his office said. "All citizens eligible for voting, both males and females, should make that their names are correctly written in the electoral record," Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said in a statement released by his office.

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