The Iraqi authorities have executed two of Saddam Hussein's key allies: his half-brother Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, who served as the head of the Revolutionary Court.
Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti headed Saddam's secret police
An official video of the execution showed that al-Tikriti was decapitated during the hanging
Below are reactions to the hangings from around the world.
US SECRETARY OF STATE CONDOLEEZZA RICE
The decisions concerning the execution of Saddam Hussein and the two defendants today obviously were made according to Iraqi processes and Iraqi law.
I would be the first to say that we were disappointed that there was not greater dignity given to the accused under these circumstances.
I think that passions run high after years of turmoil under dictatorship and that this is apparently what happened.
SPOKESMAN FOR BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR
We emphasised that if the executions were to be carried out then they should be done so in a dignified way. Now if, as appears to be the case, that didn't happen, that clearly was wrong.
SPOKESMAN FOR UN SECRETARY GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
He [Mr Ban] regrets that despite pleas from himself and the high commissioner for human rights to spare the lives of the two co-defendants, they were both executed.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT JOSE MANUEL BARROSO
We are in principle against the death penalty. Man does not have the right to take the life of another man.
ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER ROMANO PRODI
I have the same position I had over the execution of Saddam Hussein. Italy is against the death penalty.
JORDAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN NASSER JAWDEH
We firmly hope that these events will not undermine the efforts underway to achieve national reconciliation in Iraq and to end sectarian violence there.
IRISH FOREIGN MINSTER DERMOT AHERN
Reports on the gruesome circumstances of today's executions are very disturbing.
I believe it is in the interests of justice and reconciliation in Iraq that the Iraqi authorities now take the step of ending executions.