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Fedayeen Saddam

Fedayeen Saddam is Saddam Hussein's most trusted paramilitary unit, comprising a 30,000 to 40,000-member militia in Iraq headed by Hussein's eldest son Uday. The name, roughly translated, means "Sacrificers of Saddam" and was selected to imply a conceptual relationship to the Fedayeen of the Palestinian resistance.

Uday Hussein formed the group in 1995. Uday lost control of the militia group in 1996, apparently after supplying the group with sophisticated weapons from the Republican Guard without Saddam Hussein's permission. Subsequently Saddam's younger son Qusai Hussein is believed to have taken control of the group for some time. In the years that followed, the force was once again placed back in Uday's control.

The group is suspected to be directly responsible for many of the Saddam Hussein regime's most brutal acts, including beheadings and other executions. According to the Associated Press, Saddam's Fedayeen has "assassinated the Iraqi leader's enemies, put down protests and ruthlessly cracked down on dissidents since its founding in 1995". [1] (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A19574-2003Mar24?language=printer)

See: Human rights violations in Iraq

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