BAGHDAD, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Two of Saddam Hussein's former comrades were executed in Baghdad Monday, including his half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti, the government said.
Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told a news conference in Baghdad that Tikriti, who headed the intelligence service under Saddam, and the former head of the Revolutionary Court Awad al-Bandar, were hanged at dawn "according to legal conditions."
He added, however, that in "a rare case," Tikriti's head was dismembered at the time of the hanging, which forensic experts said could happen if the execution was carried out in an inappropriate manner.
Director of Jordan's National Forensic Center, Momen al-Hadidi, told United Press International the hanging seemed to have been "inferior" and lacked "international standards provided in the rope" in terms of its quality and length.
Tikriti and al-Bandar's execution came just over two weeks after Iraq's toppled president, Saddam Hussein, was hanged on the same charges: The death of 148 people in the Shiite town of Dujail following a foiled assassination attempt against Saddam in 1982.
Saddam's hanging, which was shown on video footage that made the execution appear more of a lynching by a Shiite mob than a legal punishment, drew widespread Arab and international criticism.
While bullets were fired in celebration in parts of Baghdad following the announcement of Monday's executions, the Islamic Scholars Association, Iraq's only Sunni religious authority that represents Sunni political parties, said the hangings were carried out in the same manner as Saddam's.
The association's spokesman, Mohammad Bashar al-Faidi, told UPI in Amman he suspected the real reasons that caused Tikriti's head to dismember.
The Iraqi government spokesman, Dabbagh, stressed Saddam's brother and al-Bandar were not taunted or insulted before their execution.
Footage of Saddam's hanging on Dec. 30 had shown black-masked executioners taunting him as he was being executed.