Jordanians Mark 1-Year Anniversary of Saddam Execution

About 2,000 Jordanians demonstrated in the capital on Saturday to commemorate former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on the one-year anniversary of his execution.

Some supporters in Amman's commercial downtown district waved black, white, green and red flags of Saddam's ruling Baath party and distributed a party newspaper, "al-Wahda," meaning unity, bearing Saddam's picture on the front page.

The protestors, including Jordanian Baathists, leftists and other opposition groups, shouted allegiance to the Baath party, which ruled Iraq under Saddam. The demonstration ended peacefully.

Saddam, toppled by the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, was executed on Dec. 30 after being convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes for the killings of 148 Shiite Muslims in a 1982 crackdown on the town of Dujail, north of Baghdad.

But he remains revered by sympathizers of his regime and among some, mainly Sunni Arabs, who see his downfall as the start of the chaos in Iraq.

More than 700,000 Iraqis have fled to Jordan to escape the turmoil in their homeland, part of a wave of some 2.5 million Iraqi refugees across the region. But Saturday's protest was made up of Jordanian sympathizers.