BERLIN, Jan 6: German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned in an interview to be published on Sunday that the execution of Saddam Hussein risked making the Iraqi dictator a martyr with cult status.

“The repercussions of the execution of Saddam on the situation in Iraq are still difficult to evaluate,” he told the German weekly Bild am Sonntag.

But, he added, “there is surely a risk that this execution, carried out on a Muslim holiday and hyped up by the media, is creating the conditions to make Saddam a martyr to his countrymen.”

“The first signs of this are the numerous visits to his tomb,” he noted, adding “it is still not clear if (the hanging) could lead to a new escalation of the violence in Iraq.” The German government repeated after the hanging of Saddam that it opposed the death penalty in principle.—AFP

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