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Saddam Hussein’s Secretary Executed

AFP/Getty Images(BAGHDAD) -- Another member of the late Saddam Hussein's inner circle died by execution in Iraq Thursday.

The Iraqi justice ministry said that Abed Hamid Hmoud, at one time the fourth most wanted member of Hussein's regime, was hanged -- the fifth to receive capital punishment.

A distant cousin of Hussein, Hmoud was the Iraqi president's private secretary, who apparently had more clout than many of the ministers in the powerful Baathist government.

However, it only took three months to find Hmoud after the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.  He was tried and convicted two years ago for planning the crackdown of rival political groups that involved assassinations and unlawful detentions.

Hussein's regime caused the deaths of tens of thousands of minority Kurds and majority Shiites, especially during the 1980s and 1990s.

The dictator, who ruled for more than 25 years, was executed in December 2006.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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